‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ is haunting but ripe for discussion

In the months after "winning" the Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) are back home, living with their families at the Victors' Village in District 12. Their mentor, Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), has his own house there, too.Katniss and Peeta are preparing to embark on their Victory Tour. Katniss meets with Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), her soul mate who is now working in the mines and becoming more and more angry at what the … [Read more...]

T.H.I.N.K. Five ways to bridge faith and culture in a social media world

 Because so many folks wanted a copy of my presentation from "Roots+Wings National Religious Education Conference" in Durban this weekend, I posted it on SlideShare.net. I hope the links work! If not you can google the videos with the title that is on the slide.It was a wonderful conference. About 330 Catholic school principals teachers and Religious Education teachers attended. Religious Education is not catechesis in South Africa which happens in the parish, but a study, from … [Read more...]

You know that book I’ve been working on for 7 years? Lights, Camera, Faith: Beatitudes and Deadly Sins? It’s finished!

  Yes, it is finished. The fifth volume in the series Lights, Camera Faith by my co-author Peter Malone, MSH and me. Click here to see the other volumes. And it's not like Peter didn't do his work: he was finished long ago. I was the one who got behind and involved in many other projects. And gave in to writer's block when all it took was a clean desk and the will to do it! So the manuscript is off to the editor. Sure there will be corrections and other steps but the … [Read more...]

‘Family values’ entertainment needs to also tell great stories

There has been some interesting activity regarding faith-based entertainment this summer, including a summit between Hollywood and faith-based production companies, an analysis by the Vatican's newspaper of comic book superheroes, and the June 22 announcement by former U.S. senator and one-time GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum that he is now the CEO of EchoLight Studios, a Dallas company that will produce faith-based and family productions across all platforms.I was present at the wel … [Read more...]

“Space Warriors” family film premieres Friday, May 31, Hallmark Channel 8/7

Hallmark ChannelFriday, May 31, 20138/7Jimmy Hawkins (Thomas Horn) is the son of a retired NASA astronaut, Captain Andy Hawkins (Dermot Mulroney) who once worked on the International Space Station.  Jimmy lives with his mom, Sally (Mira Sorvino), who is divorced from Andy.Jimmy love astrophysics and has always dreamed of being an astronaut and against his parents’ wishes, secretly applies to attend a special summer camp session at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Alabama. Th … [Read more...]

“Midnight’s Children” and the search for identity

Indian/Canadian director Deepa Mehta's cinematic interpretation of Salmon Rushdie's 1981 Booker Prize-winning novel "Midnight's Children" is a vibrant epic that spans about 30 years and has a cast of thousands.It tells the story of two baby boys who were born precisely at midnight on Aug. 15, 1947, when India gained independence from Great Britain. The nurse, Mary Pereira (Seema Biswas), a Catholic, switched the boys soon after birth, meaning that the child of the poor father would grow up … [Read more...]

‘Starbuck’ the hilarious tale of moral dilemmas and unintended consequences

 Hanoverhill Starbuck (1979-1998) was a Canadian bull that sired 200,000 daughters around the world -- just under 37,000 in Canada alone. He also sired 209 proven sons, all through artificial insemination. 685,000 doses of his semen was sold in 45 countries globally, earning almost $25 million.David Wozniak (Patrick Huard) is a 42-year old loveable ne'er do well whose code name was “Starbuck” at the Montreal fertility clinic where he was a habitual donor 20 years ago -- and with … [Read more...]

Plato comes to life in DreamWorks “The Croods”

 In "The Croods," the prehistoric caveman Grug (voice of Nicolas Cage) is the head of the Crood family. These beings believe they are the only creatures of their kind in existence. They live somewhere on the earth in a dark cave and only go out during the day if necessary. Grug tells the younger members of the family -- Eep (voice of Emma Stone), Thunk (voice of Clark Duke) and Sandy (Randy Thom) -- the same bedtime story every night: Obey the rules of the cave that are marked on … [Read more...]

“Francis and the Sultan” documentary released with great timing

 When it was announced March 13 that the church had a new pope who had taken the name Francis, the first thing that popped into my head was, "St. Francis was the first one to reach out to Islam." This fact had just recently had been reinforced when I screened a new documentary from Franciscan Media, "In the Footprints of Francis and the Sultan: a Model for Peacemaking."Talk about great timing for the release of this two-part DVD written and produced by Franciscan Sr. Kathleen A. … [Read more...]

Pope Francis: no words needed

  What were you doing when the white smoke began to rise from the Sistine Chapel last Wednesday?Left to right, Ellen Russell, SSJ, Joanne Connolly, SSL, Regina McLaughlan, SSJ, M. Thecla Paolini, FSP – photo by Rose Pacatte, FSPOn that morning of Wednesday March 13, I was in our book center here in Culver City chatting with Sister Joanne Connolly, SSL, who had come in to do some shopping.  At about 10:45am our Sister Marie James called from the convent upstairs a … [Read more...]


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