National Film Retreat 2014 announced

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      It's been a couple of years since we have had the National Film Retreat  and I am so happy to tell you all IT IS ON again - and we are going back to our roots in New Jersey! The first National Film Retreat was held at St. Pius X Retreat House in the Diocese of Camden in 2000. This year we are going to the Jersey Shore and it's going to be great. The National Film Retreat is all about the stories told through image and sound and each person's personal … [Read more...]

Want to be a film critic?

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When I watch films for review I am attracted by two elements: relationships and mystery. Relationships between people, communities, or nations in this universe and beyond, or a mixture of any and all. The conflicts that provide the drama and drive the action can be resolved in so many ways but I am always looking at the human struggle and the human and Gospel values that underpin the resolution of the conflict or the denouement. I am always looking for grace – for the characters and for … [Read more...]

“Restless Heart: The Confessions of St. Augustine” theatrical screening 12/10/12 in Los Angeles

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You are welcome to come in to purchase tickets or to call 310-397-8676. Tickets must be pre-purchased. All sales are final. No tickets will be sold at the door. This is a benefit screening of the film; proceeds will go to the Building Fund of the Daughters of St. Paul here in Culver City, CA (for repairs, new roofs, remodeling, new  carpet, tuckpointing of chapel exterior wall  if the budget can manage it). Bless you! Although there is nothing objectionable in the film it may be over … [Read more...]

Metaphors and Journeys of Faith in the Life of Pi & Big Fish

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  Tim Burton’s Big Fish (2003) and Ang Lee’s 3D Life of Pi (2012) have a lot in common, and it’s not just the fish or the almost overwhelming cinematography and artistic design that transcend the ordinary. Besides the fact that both films are based on novels, their common bond is the larger than life idea of fish and creation, imaginary worlds, and telling a fantastical story using metaphor, analogy and fable. Both stories share themes about life and death, about faith and … [Read more...]

“Weaving Life” “Where Do We Go Now?” and a “Girl with a Book” Images of peacemaking in the Middle East

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In the last month or so, a narrative film, a documentary and a poster on Facebook came across my desk. The films were sent for review, but the Facebook poster (or image) arrived in my newsfeed this morning, unbidden, a "share" from my youngest sister. "Weaving Life" a documentary on The Life and Death of Peacemaker Dan Terry - is a film from MennoMedia that will air on participating ABC stations beginning Oct. 21 (check local listings). It is the story of Dan Terry, one of 10 humanitarian … [Read more...]

“Babette’s Feast” and the Goodness of God (celebrating 25 years)

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In 1995 I returned from two years of graduate study at the University of London's Institute of Education, MA in tow. I proposed that my community begin the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Boston with a good media library. At that time the budget was healthy and almost every Sunday after mass I went to the Barnes & Noble store at Chestnut Hill to savor a great cup of coffee as I browsed their excellent collection. On my second visit I met T.J., a student at Boston College who went on to … [Read more...]

Les Miserables preview: live singing (I dare you not to cry)

This is my #1 anticipated film with The Hobbit a close second. Les Miz opens in December. … [Read more...]

“A Better Life” “The Pursuit of Happyness” and the parable of Home Depot (those vineyard workers)

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A few summers ago, I had taken to driving to St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., for Sunday vigil Mass. Most Sunday liturgies in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are so well-attended and run at an hour or more, and I have MS and heat can provoke symptoms. St. John's was the only chapel or church within miles that had air conditioning. The priest who celebrated Mass most of the time was from Africa. He was a gentle soul, kept his homilies under 10 minutes, and was well-regarded by the … [Read more...]

I fell in love with New York

Last year, for the 10th anniversary of September 11, I wrote this reflection as a spiritual New Yorker. I lived and carried out our apostolate there for 13 years: I grew up in San Diego listening to my Connecticut born and bred mother praising the wonders of New York City. Her parents took her and her siblings there often to visit an aunt who lived and prospered there. For some reason the Museum of Natural History was the place she most often described for us kids. After three years in the … [Read more...]


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