Salmon Fishing in the Yemen opens March 9

I’ve seen this and will be reviewing it soon. I must say, I really liked it. It’s a dream that imagines faith and possibility.

 

The Way with Martin Sheen – don’t miss it!

The panel for the special screening of THE WAY last Saturday night in Los Angeles; photo by Frederic Charpentier

On Nov. 5, Catholics in Media Associates (CIMA) of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, in collaboration with Mt. St. Mary’s College Chalon Campus, hosted a screening and panel discussion of Emilio Estevez’s new film “The Way.”

 The main attraction, besides the film, was the participation of the film’s star, Martin Sheen, his eldest son writer/director, Emilio Estevez, and producer David Alexanian. The panel was moderated by communications professor Dr. Craig Detweiller of Pepperdine University. Other panelists were Jesuit Fr. Eddie Siebert, president of Loyola Productions and chaplain to CIMA, the Rev. Scott Young, executive director of the University Religious Conference at UCLA, and me.

I had the honor of interviewing Sheen about the film for NCR, so being part of this event was an added grace. I can’t think of another way to put it.

“The Way” is the story of California widowed father and ophthalmologist, Tom, who goes to France to bring home the body of his son, who died in an accident just as he was to embark on the famous Camino to the Shrine of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. He finds three companions along the way, a pilgrimage that changed him from choosing a life to living it, opened up his view of the world from his small little golf course to countries and people he never thought about, that healed a father-son relationship, even in death, and celebrates the divine hope of reconciliation, even in a church that can be, as the character Jack says, a “temple of tears.”

For more click here for Sr. Rose’s blog on NCR

I took this photo with my iPhone; a little blurry but you can see how much we laughed!

 

The Cinema of Adoption

 

To go along with National Adoption Month in the US, here is a link to my column On Faith and Media in St. Anthony Messenger magazine.

Some of the movies I talk about are Secrets and Lies, Juno, Heaven on Earth, Daughter of Danang, Superman, etc.

 

 

 

Urban Mystic: The Video for the 19th anniversary of the LA riots

On this day in 1992, four Los Angeles Police Department officers were acquitted of the beating of Rodney King and Los Angeles erupted in rioting. The beating of King, which had been video tapped, the trial and acquittal were seminal events in the history of race relations in this country.

Last year I interviewed the Rev. Scott D. Young about his annual pilgrimage to the site of the flash point of the civil unrest following the acquittal of the police officers in the Rodney King case.

NCR published the article and it can be read here: Urban Mystic at the Crossroads

I believe this outtake captures the essence of Scott’s passion for the city, a true urban mystic.

You can read Scott’s blog at The Culture Vulture Report

A (Dinner) Prayer for Film & TV Writers via the Humanitas Prize

A couple of  Saturdays ago I received a call from Soozie Eastman, Director of Programs for the  Humanitas Prize. For the second year I was going to be one of the script readers to decide on which ones will receive this prestigious award trophy and cash prize. All the readers for television and film scripts were having dinner together that evening to pick up the parcels and share some inspiration. Soozie asked me to say grace.

I thought I would share this on my blog so that everyone could join in prayer to support the good work of the Humanitas Prize and to support film and television writers who seek to explore the human condition and promote human dignity in the stories they tell.

Paulist Father Elwood “Bud” Kieser (1929 – 2000) founded the he HUMANITAS Prize in 1974 “to celebrate television programs which affirm the dignity of the human person, explore the meaning of life, enlighten the use of human freedom and reveal to 
each person our common humanity.” You may remember Fr. Kieser as the producer of the films Romero(1989), Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story (1996) and the “Insight” series (1960 -1983) for television.

I accepted Soozie’s invitation and did a search for “dinner grace” and guess what came up? A link sponsored by Target that wanted to sell me the DVD  Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. That’s appropriate, I thought, since the readers come from various cultural and faith background.  But since Target wasn’t giving anything up on the prayer front, I decided to draw on my favorite cinema genre for inspiration: food movies.

Here is my prayer:

Dear God, come and be with us as we gather here from our Places in the Heart , at a restaurant that is a step above a Diner  , to  East and Drink as Men and Women  , let us be kind to the Waitress , enjoy Tortilla Soup,  Ratatouille  , or the  Mystic dimensions of Pizza ,  or whatever we choose; bless this Feast and those who prepared it with the generosity and totally outpouring of self of a Babette; may it to become Soul Food,  that will give us strength to confront the ducks in our lives as Julie&Julia Child admonished us; help us make this a Big Night for writers and all creative people, knowing that , as Primo said in the film, “to eat good food is to know God”. May this meal be capped by just a little  Chocolat as we begin the Humanitas Prize process once again this year with  No Reservations.   And whether we are  Mostly Marthas  or Marios, give us the grace to slow down and savor the fruits of the labors of these writers to choose the very best stories.

Thank you Lord for your blessings! Bless us, bless this food, and no Sideways Bottle Shock please – and be with us always!

(Here is an article about Humanitas director Cathleen Young  and the Humanitas New Voices initiative written by Neely Swanson in the WGA journal “Written By”; click on “Cathleen Young”)

Cathleen Young, director of the Humanitas organization, Brian Oppenheimer and Barbara Gangi, screenwriters, at the dinner to launch the Humanitas Prize process for 2011. Photo courtesy of Frederic Charpenier

Religious Education Congress 2011: A vibrant human mosaic

The labyrinth

 

ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Ask anyone who participated in the Religious Education Congress March 17-20 how they would describe the event in terms of art, and they will tell you: It’s the people. Ask author/speaker Jesuit Fr. James Martin and he will tell you that the congress — not Disneyland across the street — is the happiest place on earth.

Charity Sr. Edith Prendergast, who heads the Los Angeles archdiocese’s Office for Religious Education, told me that she loves the congress for its poetry and beauty. “It is an authentic expression of the life of the church and people come to be enriched.”

At the opening ceremony, people from various cultures and costumes processed in the arena that holds 6,000; there was a lovely liturgical dance, and the music and singing engaged everyone. Prendergast presented our new archbishop, José H. Gomez, “the chief catechist of the archdiocese,” with the illuminated Gospels and Acts of the Apostles from the St. John’s Bible from Liturgical Press. After Gomez opened the congress in prayer, he introduced Prendergast. When she got to the lectern to give her presentation, she said, “You will hear from the archbishop later.” Then she paused and turned back to the archbishop and said, “That is, if it’s OK with you.” It brought down the house.

Click here for the entire article: Religious Education Congress 2011: A vibrant human mosaic.

Mirtha Vespi talks about Congress and Magnificat Ministries

 

 

Faith on Your iPod: Introduction to Media Literacy, Saturday Nov 6, 2010 at LMU

Media literacy education, or media mindfulness, is about learning skills to navigate popular, media culture through the dual lens of faith and critical thinking. Media literacy leads to media mindfulness: thoughtful media choices for intentional living. Media literacy provides a values-based strategy based on social analysis and theological reflection to build character and contribute to culture and vital citizenship. Media literacy education in the faith community explores Church teaching about media and communication and contributes to understanding culture and a multiplicity of meanings in the world of digital story telling.

Sister Rose Pacatte, FSP, is the director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Culver City. She is the film/TV columnist for St. Anthony Messenger magazine, and a contributor to the National Catholic Reporter, The Tidings, and ParishWorld.net. Rose is also the award-winning co-author of the Lights, Camera, Faith series on film and scripture, and the co-author, with Sr. Gretchen Hailer, RSHM, of Media Mindfulness: Educating Teens about Faith and Media, and most recently, Our Media World; Teaching Kids K-8 about Faith and Media.

Click here To register for one day Intro to Media Literacy Course Saturday, Nov 6

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Loyola Marymount University Campus

University Hall, 1815

9:30am – 3:30om

Tuition: $50.00

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