“Heaven is for Real” is a compelling story, not a canned sermon

Connor Corum in "Heaven Is For Real" (CNS/Sony)

By now, most people know that I am not a fan of the "Christian" movie genre when these films are more about teaching than storytelling and making sure audiences get "the message" rather than trusting them to use their own moral and religious imagination to savor the story. These films might be movies, but they are certainly not art. In response to the film "God's Not Dead," I wrote an essay called "How movies can save people," and I make the distinction between "Christian" genre films that are … [Read more...]

A Rising Tide of Silence – a gentle doc on Thomas Keating

Trappist priest Thomas Keating

 "Thomas Keating: a Rising Tide of Silence" gently documents the life of Fr. Thomas Keating, integrating his personal history and spiritual journey in a compelling blend of interviews with him and his Cistercian brothers, footage of Keating’s talks at interreligious gatherings, interaction with people who come on retreat, and in one case, his visits to Jens Soering, a prisoner serving life for double murder.  Over time, Keating’s “centering prayer” method influenced Soering to live h … [Read more...]

San Quentin film highlights human redemption

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“’John Brown’s Body’ at San Quentin Prison,”  a movie about the making of a play inside San Quentin and starring San Quentin prisoners, premiered last October at the Mill Valley Film Festival in northern California just a few miles from the prison itself.  I felt honored to be in the audience with five of the former prisoners turned actors and their families present. All of the former prisoners had, at one time, been sentenced to life in prison, but have now been released. In fact, only three pri … [Read more...]

“Open Mind, Faithful Heart” new book by Pope Francis FREE today on Kindle

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 I just got an email from Sister Jennifer saying that this book OPEN MIND, FAITHFUL HEART: REFLECTIONS ON FOLLOWING JESUS by Pope Francis when he was Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio, is FREE today (December 14) on Kindle on Amazon. The hardcover edition on Amazon is $21.96Share and spread the word!The book's publisher is Crossroads.   … [Read more...]

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

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  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...]

“The Son of God” will appear in theaters early 2014 says VARIETY today

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In an announcement exclusive to VARIETY Roma Downey and Mark Burnett are sharing the news that they have struck a deal with 20th Century Fox to release a film about Jesus derived from their epic mini-series "The Bible" that aired earlier this year on The History Channel.In an email from Roma Downey she said that the film will run for 2 hours and 15 minutes and it will officially be in movie theaters in early 2014.  "The movie tells of the birth, death and resurrection of The Lord. We will b … [Read more...]

PBS Documentary marks 50th anniversary of the march on Washington

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 Almost every American above the age of 6 knows who Martin Luther King Jr. was because his name is attached to a federal holiday. No school and for some, no work. We learn, or we know, that because of what he and a group of courageous colleagues and collaborators organized in Washington, D.C., 50 years ago, the American South was legally desegregated in 1964, when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act.In this new documentary on PBS, I learned a lot more about the … [Read more...]

Loyola Marymount University named one of top 25 US film schools

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 The Hollywood Reporter just released its annual review, and Los Angeles' Loyola Marymount's School of Film and Television has been ranked No. 9 of the of the top 25 film schools in the U.S. shaping the future of cinema. (In 2012, the school was ranked No. 13 of U.S. film schools and No. 18 in the world.)According to The Hollywood Reporter: "LMU's School of Film and Television ... is all about the internships. One-third of its students regularly find them, and they've worked in 400 … [Read more...]


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