November 21, 2011



“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part I” (the third movie in the “Twilight” series) is a very pro-life, very Theology of the Body movie. I know there are other opinions rolling around from high-profile Catholics, but I really think they’re reading it wrong.

Here’s the storyline (not a total spoiler) for anyone who has managed to escape familiarity with this phenomenon. Bella (human, Kristen Stewart) marries Edward (vampire, Robert Pattinson). Bella could “turn” immortal vampire if Edward bites her, but so far she has not opted to go that route. On their prolonged honeymoon Bella gets pregnant (something that Edward and Bella thought impossible). The pregnancy is very difficult and seems sure to kill Bella.

Jacob (werewolf, Taylor Lautner) who also loved Bella and had hoped to marry her is exceedingly angry about this situation and blames Edward (vampires and werewolves are also sworn enemies).

Bella, from the get-go, although she is scared, loves her baby (even though exactly WHAT the baby is is not even known) and refuses to abort it. (The word “abortion” is not used, but “getting rid” of “it” and other phrases are.) At a certain point, it becomes almost definite that either mother or baby can be saved, but not both. But Bella is steadfast in her St. Gianna Molla-esque decision, which leads to a transformation and change of heart in those around her.

Objectionable parts of the movie would be the sex scenes (even though Edward and Bella are now married). Are we really supposed to watch people making love? Ever? Bella is often scantily-clad, also. The birth scene is kind of violent and bloody, but, um, isn’t the pain and peril of real-life childbirth?

A strange feature (or at least the way the movie portrayed it), is Bella’s continuing, demonstrative affection for Jacob. It’s almost like she has two husbands sometimes.

“Twilight” is pure female fantasy. Obsessive female fantasy. Two men adore one woman. But, you know what? It’s about time. 98% of what Hollywood produces is male-conceived, male-written, male-directed, male-driven, male-marketed, male-consumed.

How does Theology of the Body play out in the “Twilight” series? First of all, a chaste relationship because an honorable man takes the lead. (Good things happen when good men lead.) Second, Bella is truly the “bride,” whom the men in her life (OK, vampire and werewolf) will lay down their lives for. As Christopher West says: “It’s all about you, ladies,” (just as Jesus did everything He did FOR His Bride, the Church). And third, Bella is not a selfish prima donna. She returns “the gift” and is self-sacrificing in her love also.

The theme of immortality and “forever” is so strong in “Twilight.” Echoes of the unending heavenly marriage feast that awaits us.

Jacob’s role at the end of the film is pretty incredible. A beautiful resolution. I left the theater soaring.


--Do NOT look for good filmmaking or dialogue or acting or anything. This is camp. And it knows it. It’s like a soupy, sappy, tragic romantic comic book brought to the screen in slow motion. (My audience members—mostly young adults—laughed at the jokes in the movie AND at the most serious, melodramatic moments, which is pretty much the whole film.)

--This is a movie that girlfriends drag their boyfriends to. Overheard in line: Boyfriend: “Why am I here again?” Girlfriend: “Because I HAVE to see what happens!”

--So, could this female fantasy give young (and not so young women) the wrong idea about true love? Yes, BUT I really think that female romantic fantasies are closer to the truth about love, and not as potentially harmful as male fantasies.


• He really listens to me!
• He knows what I like!
• He wants to be with me all the time!
• He thinks about me all the time!
• He likes to cuddle!
• He tells me I’m beautiful!
• He likes to surprise me!
• He’s gentle with me and doesn’t treat me like one of the guys! movie reviewer, Steven Greydanus, did an excellent in-depth article in Catholic World Report not long ago about the massive appeal of the “Twilight” series. He ends it by saying that maybe if guys were more romantic, women wouldn’t have to escape into vampire fantasies. Guys: Look at the bullet points above. That’s all we want! It’s not that hard! Sometimes I think guys DON'T do the above simple things because they don't FEEL it and don't want to be hypocritical or insincere. But it's when you DON'T feel it and you do it anyway that it's selfless, pure love! All you need to know is that it means ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING to us, so just DO IT if you really love us! You don't have to FEEL it. We get that you don't feel it. WE feel it. We need it. Desperately. I've heard it said (by a woman) that women are like flowers that need watering and care every day or else we'll wither. OK--maybe the "thinks about me all the time" is asking a bit much.

--Stephenie Meyer (author of the “Twilight” books) is a good little mythmaker.

--The human blood Bella has to drink could be synthetic, yes?

--Who "created" Edward and why?

--Does Bella's family know anything about the vampires and werewolves?

--What did Edward bite with his teeth during the birth?

--Full disclosure: I haven't read the books. Only saw movie #1 and #2.

--No media tech. One cell phone. Just people and face time. And wolves howling communications and some vampiric telepathic communication.

--Bella and the Cullens (Edward's family) are definitely people of leisure. They have nothing much to do. They just sit around staring at each other and dealing with their supernatural problems.

--Bella gets married at 18. Like everyone used to. We need to rethink the possibility of getting married younger again.

--Soundtrack pop song: “I find strength in your fragile heart.” Nice. “In weakness, power reaches perfection.”

--For those still fretting that this may actually be an anti-life film in disguise, consider this: Catholics (some of whom I consider to be literalists and alarmists) are condemning it, AS WELL AS super-secular sources like the Huffington Post (who are even warning parents)! What is the “anything goes” HP worried about? The realities of childbirth, for one. Another criticism I heard is that it glorifies violent sex (Edward is super-strong and Bella wakes up slightly bruised on her arms and shoulders). But Edward is horrified and vows never to touch Bella again. Are characters pro-abortion (at first)? Yes! Characters! Not the whole film and not the heroine, Bella! And Bella prevails! What is the problem here?

--Dr. Michael Waldstein (who found the Polish original of Theology of the Body and wrote the extensive Introduction to it) says that we need to get away from the language of “rights” when it comes to pregnancy, even “the right to life,” because we immediately set up an opposition between mother and baby (of course, this can be a dire move just to save a baby’s life). I did a week of studies with him and he talked so much about our “NON-COMPETITIVE GOD,” not competitive within the Trinity and not competitive with His Creation. It just blew all our minds.

--Isn't "intermarriage" historically what always brings about peace? In Theology of the Body, all differences (starting with the sexual difference of male and female) are a call to communion, not strife.

--While everyone around Bella talks about “choice,” “choice,” “choice,” Bella just loves.

--Puts a whole new spin on “the first year of marriage is the hardest.” :]

--Right across from the cinema when I stepped outside was the store: “XXI Forever.” :]

--The only thing wrong with the “Twilight” series is that Bella is married to the wrong guy. :]

--Here are some insightful FB posts from a young Mom:

• Christina Yep Hi Sr Helena! Haven't seen movie yet either and I can see how some people would draw this articles' conclusions, but I think with guidance, today's teens can see through the negative messages and pull out the positive. In fact, this movie raises some of those more intimate "mom questions" that they deal with every day - the question of saving oneself til marriage, marriage itself, who to choose (baby or mother) in extreme pregnancies. Bella and Edward might seem entirely too obssessed with sex, but as with the best of us, their love matures over the course of their relationship and the message that they wait until they are married is pivotal for them.
Saturday at 3:36am • Like

Christina Yep Regarding Edward hurting needs to be put in context, which books do well but movies generally don't. He has been living an extreme self-control of both his passions for blood and to make love to Bella for years at this point, and has preserved both their innocence intact, so when at last they do try on their honeymoon, the appropriate time, it's hard for him to maintain that self-control. This seems so realistic to the pure married relationship to me! And when they get pregnant, like with a human pregnancy, he doesn't have a bond with his baby yet...all he sees is his wife slowly being killed before his eyes by this creature he doesn't yet love. This too seems so realistic to the human experience of fathers who struggle as a child seems to come between him and his love.
Saturday at 3:41am • Like

Christina Yep It's the powerful love of the mother, Bella, who seems to mature overnight with the presence of Renesmee inside her, and who opts for the same type of sacrifice evidenced by St Gianna Beretta Molla, that is the most beautiful of all... When I read the books and having been through 2 pregnancies myself, my first though was, of course Edward tries to force Bella to an abortion! He's losing his wife. In the end, he's not trying to get her to abort...he feels powerless to alleviate her suffering and grasps at the only solution he can reason. The fact that Bella chooses LIFE despite attacks from within and from without is a heroic example, and her reward is both her child and her living. The child herself (half human half vampire) turns out to be a brilliant, sweet prodigy of a girl who demonstrates extreme virtue and love to all those around.
Saturday at 3:50am • Like

Christina Yep Perhaps they didn't intend to get pregnant but it wasn't because they weren't "open" to life, they just thought they couldn't. In the end, the book tells me a few messages: 1 save yourself for marriage; 2 who doesn't want that type of passionate married love with their husband? this is possible; 3 no matter how difficult the pregnancy and no matter how many "extenuating circumstances" and how many people pressure you to abort, it's always better to "choose life", or your baby's life to be specific, and God will bless you.
Saturday at 3:53am • Like

Christina Yep Sorry, this got really long!!! So of course, watching the movie...these questions are going to be raised and lets hope Mom and Dad are there to counsel teens with some solid answers. It's much harder to transmit a complete message by film. God bless, Sister!
Saturday at 3:55am • Like

Christina Yep Oh, one more thing...someone mentioned the Bella-Edward relationship not being ideal. Well-said. I think teens struggle with being objective already and it's hard for them to take a step back from the emotional attraction to a passionate relationship and realize how, yes, we can all identify with elements of their relationship, but mostly it's not a very realistic relationship. The LOVE and PASSION is possible...but the strange plot and predicaments...not so much. A good story only. And the characters themselves are very flawed...but I guess the hope is that aren't we all...and despite that, love and happiness are eventually possible.
Saturday at 4:00am • Like • 1

Cynthia Morales I haven't read any of the books and I don't plan to see the movie, but I did read a review in the Chicago Tribune that described the series as "anti-abortion" and "pro-abstinence." Go figure.



ME: Kinda like Benjamin Button. Aren't vampires and werewolves kinda ageless/timeless? Of course he's gonna hafta wait for her as in the vision AND i hope no one reads this cuz it's a big fat spoiler!!!!
JEN: thanks for your take can delete my post sister .. though I can't imagine anyone who is interested who doesn't already know anything we could spoil - but maybe someone has been hiding under a rock and it will spoil it :o) personally ... it's a bit too pedophilia -ish for me. Benjamin Button was a little different because they were actually the same age ... This part of the Breaking Dawn story reminds me of Lewis Caroll and his feelings for Alice Liddle ... sick. I know it is rationalized in the story as "it's not sexual - it's imprinting" and "she's not like a normal human child" ... I know it's fiction ...but fiction reflects and shapes the mind of society... and these sort of arguments are arguments that adults who abuse children make in the real world.
The prolife vs prochoice conversation in Breaking Dawn is interesting enough but it should not be the primary controversy surrounding this story ... there are so many darker deeper sicker issues in Breaking Dawn. Pedophilia is threaded throughout the entire series.

Edward is hundreds of years older than Bella - who is an immature teen... but okay .. there's no story without it ... but once we accept that story line the slide into blatant pedophilia is swift. Meyer teaches young girls that love is obsessive - that young girls are to be possessed by men ( who look like boys) and that age and experience are inconsequential. She started with the Bella and Edward relationship and continues it in increasingly disgusting ways.

Claire is imprinted by Quil ( if I remember rightly) as a fully human child at 2 years of age - at 16 she will be imprinted to him like it or not. Then Jacob imprints with a newborn. Sorry if that's a spoiler - but educating people about the evil of child abuse is more important than whether or not someones surprise is ruined. This is not just an innocent story - it like many stories has a cultural impact - more so than others considering the record breaking opening box offices.

Our stories become our schemas. We create scripts for living and social interaction largely based on the stories that we step into. This story has many misguided notions about what sexuality should be - physical violence, abuse, obsession - are not elements of healthy relationships. Being willing to damn your eternal soul for a man is not good for a young woman but it's a choice - the pedophilia portrayed in this story on the other hand is not a choice.

Jacob and Nessie are obviously eventually intended to have a sexual relationship sometime in the future. Earlier in the story ...Jacob imagines being the father of Bellas children ...and likewise she imagines the same. Jacob is going to be intimately involved in raising her. She is going to be raised by the pack - he's to be her father, sibling , uncle, moms former paramour and eventually her own lover - no conflicts there. The argument that she develops faster and will be an adult by age 7 a common argument from pro pedophiles ... people develop and mature at different rates - so chronological age doesn't make a difference. Nessie may develop physically mentally faster than the rest of us - but with this situation of being raised by the man she's expected to mate with - she is bound to develop into a truly messed up person - she'll just do it quicker than most abuse victims. Similarly Quil is called Claires "best big brother" - a brother who she is expected to start mating with at 16.

This notion that somehow a child victim can be developed enough to be a willing participant is why we end up with real world situations like the Penn state situation - in which ( according the the grand jury report) on at least two occasions adult men walked in on another adult man abusing boys 10 and younger - and walked away without removing the child from danger - as if they had walked in on two consenting adults.

Although Meyers sets up the canon that the male imprints - later she seems to want to imply that the baby imprinted on Jacob first ...this is why Bella wants to to be around him and such. This is a common pedophile mindset - it is the victims fault .. he is helpless over his need. This reversal of victim hood - the idea that the victim exerts more control over the abuser than he does over the victim - is extraordinarily common. We don't like to admit it but we live in a blame the victim world.

The imprinting seems to have left Nessie with no free will. Another common thought process of abusers - the victims will doesn't matter.

Jacob gives her a token of his promise to force him to be his forever ..and were supposed to think this is sweet? BTW he gave a similar bracelet token to her mother - who he was passionate about and abusive towards ...when he can not have the mother the way he wants - when the mother does not adore him - he takes the child. This is unfortunately an all too true reality for many real world daughters.

And as happens all too often in the real world the child's parents do not protect her. Edward and Bella shrug it off.Edward even calls him "my son" ... the whole thing is pretty sick and not very TOB at all.
ME: Wow! Thanks for this in-depth read. It makes sense. Isn't it interesting how something can be superficially one thing (OK) and at a slightly deeper level--not OK at all. Jacob does it because it's "the only thing that can save her," (but, yikes! Doesn't that sound like a pedophile's argument, too?) I'm going to take this into serious consideration. Thanks so much!

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November 18, 2011


Join us for a unique Novena leading up the Feast of Blessed James Alberione,, November 26! Blessed James Alberione is the Founder of the Daughters of St. Paul and the other 9 congregations and institutes of the Pauline Family.

In this Novena, you'll get a sneak peak at what the Church is saying about the New Evangelization (the program for the upcoming Synod on the New Evangelization--see, as well as Father Alberione's always awesome, cogent and inspiring quotes about media!

Novena in Honor of Blessed James Alberione

Nov. 17

The greatest of saints today would stay by the microphone in order to proclaim their message of truth, justice and peace. It is impossible not to think of the command of Jesus Christ, “Preach the Gospel to all creation.” The love for the Gospel is the sign and characteristic of persons whom God designates for great enterprises. --ALBERIONE


Today we begin the novena in honor of Blessed James Alberione, whom John Paul II called “the first apostle of the new evangelization.” In gratitude we thank the Lord for raising him up—for our sake and that of our world. We thank him for having answered the Master’s call, as the first Apostles did. In this Morning Prayer, we ask him to help us open ourselves to the Spirit, who continually evangelizes us and draws us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, the Apostle of the Father.


* Christian Prayer, p. 623,

* Liturgy of the Pauline Family, p. 179

* The following text: In John Paul II’s words, Blessed James Alberione is “the first apostle of the new evangelization.” Not only because he used modern media to proclaim the Gospel, but because, like Paul at the dawn of Christianity, he heralded in his person and his message the central call of the Gospel: total configuration with Christ the Master, a personal, life-changing, lifelong encounter with Christ. His reference was always the Gospel and he insisted that everyone of us read it in order to live it—a novelty at the turn of the last century. His lodestar was the primacy of Christ. His journey was a personal relationship with Christ and a burning desire that the whole world would join him on that journey.

This is the meaning of the new evangelization, outlined in the lineamenta for next year’s Synod of Bishops. With this novena, we are in a way initiating our own community’s preparation for that event. We entrust to Primo Maestro our own desire to witness to the saving love and truth of Jesus Christ with what the lineamenta calls new “ardour, methods, and expression.”

Yes, in the words of our founder that we just read, “The love for the Gospel is the sign and characteristic of persons whom God designates for great enterprises.”

Canticle of Zechariah

Antiphon: LPF, p. 184

Concluding Prayer: LPF, p. 183

Nov. 18—Dedication of the Churches of Sts. Peter and Paul

Jesus Christ has taught us not to wait for people, but to go in search of them. Like the Master, the apostle should spread the divine word in cities, villages and homes, even the remotest ones. The press, the cinema, the radio and the television constitute today the most urgent, the fastest and the most efficacious work of the Catholic apostolate. --ALBERIONE


Christian Prayer, p. 1346

LPF, p. 180

Lineamenta: The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith, n. 6:

“The new evangelization is a frame of mind, a courageous manner of acting and Christianity’s capacity to know how to read and interpret the new situations in human history which, in recent decades, have become the places to proclaim and witness to the Gospel….These sectors concern society, cultures, economics, civic life, and religion….

“…Our third great sector…[is] the means of social communications, which, while today providing great possibilities for the Church, also represents one of her greatest challenges….In this sector, the new evangelization means that Christians need to show boldness in these ‘new aeropaghi,’ where they live everyday, and find the means and approaches to ensure that the Church’s patrimony in education and knowledge, safeguarded by the Christian tradition, has a part to play in these ultra-modern places.”

Canticle of Zechariah

Antiphon: LPF, p. 184

Concluding Prayer: LPF, p. 183

Nov. 19

The machine, the microphone, the screen are our pulpit; the press, the production room, the screening hall and the transmission center are like our church. The temptations are many, but we shall make ours the words of Paul, “I do all things for the Gospel." --ALBERIONE


Christian Prayer, p. 655

Liturgy of the Pauline Family, p. 180

Lineamenta, n. 6:

“The first sector calling for the new evangelization is culture. In our times we find ourselves in an era of a profound secularism….in which God is completely or partially left out of life and human consciousness…. [This] can be seen in the daily lives of many Christians, who are oftentimes influenced, if not completely conditioned, by the culture of images with its models and opposing forces. Temptations to superficiality and self-centredness, arising from a predominating hedonistic and consumer-oriented mentality, are not easily overcome. The “death of God” announced decades ago by so many intellectuals has given way to an unproductive cult of the individual….

“At the same time, some regions of the world are showing signs of a promising religious reawakening.”

Canticle of Zechariah

Antiphon: LPF, p. 184

Concluding Prayer: LPF, p. 183

Nov. 20—Solemnity of Christ the King

Christian Prayer, p. 523

Let there be the persuasion that in these forms of apostolate a greater spirit of sacrifice and a more profound piety are required. Saints are needed, who lead us in these ways. Prayer before all, above all, the life of all. To leave out prayer in order to do more work is a ruinous way out. --ALBERIONE


Christian Prayer, p. 524

Liturgy of the Pauline Family, p. 180

Lineamenta, n. 15, 22:

“The agent for transmitting the faith is the entire Church which manifests itself in the local Churches, where proclamation, transmission and the lived experience of the Gospel are realized…. The Spirit gathers believers into communities that fervently live their faith, a faith which is nourished through listening to the teaching of the apostles, through the Eucharist and through the communities’ life of unselfish service to proclaiming the Kingdom of God…. In these communities, the faithful are gathered together by the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, and the celebration of the mystery of the Lord's Supper, so that ‘by the food and blood of the Lord's body the whole brotherhood may be joined together’.”

“The new evangelization, then, which is primarily a task to be done and a spiritual challenge, is the responsibility of all Christians who are in serious pursuit of holiness.”

Canticle of Zechariah

Antiphon: LPF, p. 184


Add the following:

“In thanksgiving for the life of Sr. Mary Aparecida on this, her anniversary. May she rest in the kingdom of light and peace.”

Concluding Prayer: LPF, p. 183

Nov. 21—Presentation of Mary (optional memorial)

Christian Prayer, p. 686

We should always lead people to paradise, but we have to lead there not those who lived ten centuries ago, but those who live today. In order to do good today, we have to take the world and the people as they are today. Stretch forward. Always keep in mind what is wanting in us. There is no time to congratulate ourselves on the past.--ALBERIONE


Christian Prayer, p. 690

Liturgy of the Pauline Family, p. 180

Lineamenta, n. 13, 23:

“The synod fathers gave particular attention to proclaiming the Word of God to future generations. ‘Often we encounter in them a spontaneous openness to hearing the Word of God and a sincere desire to know Jesus....Concern for young people calls for courage and clarity in the message we proclaim…witnesses and teachers who can walk with them,.…[and] approaches to Christian initiation which, through listening to the Word, celebrating the Eucharist and the communal living of love and fellowship, will lead to a growth in faith.’”

“The first evangelization began on the day of Pentecost, when the Apostles, gathered together in prayer with the Mother of Christ, received the Holy Spirit. In this way, Mary, who according to the words of the Archangel is "full of grace", was present during apostolic evangelization and continues to be present in those places where the successors of the Apostles strive to proclaim the Gospel.”

Canticle of Zechariah

Antiphon: LPF, p. 184

Concluding Prayer: LPF, p. 183

Nov. 22—St. Cecilia (Memorial)

The apostle is one who carries God in one’s soul and radiates him around oneself. The apostle is a saint who accumulates divine treasures and shares the surplus with others. Sanctity is the stubbornness in fulfilling the will of God, always, in spite of any difficulty whatever.--ALBERIONE


Christian Prayer, p. 706

Liturgy of the Pauline Family, p. 181

Lineamenta, n. 7:

“Reread the present moment in light of the Christian gift of hope. Relearning the meaning of hope leads Christians to discover what they can offer in their world of encounters, experiences and dialoguing with others, what they can share in the process and how they can better express this hope which leads to perseverance. The new sectors which call us into dialogue require turning a critical eye towards our manner of life, our thinking, our values and our means of communication. At the same time, the occasion must also serve as a self-evaluation of Christianity today, which must repeatedly learn to understand itself, beginning from its roots.”

Canticle of Zechariah

Antiphon: LPF, p. 184

Concluding Prayer: LPF, p. 183

Nov. 23

God himself works for those who work for him. We must therefore be always disposed to do everything as if everything depended on us, and to pray as if everything depended on him. Our prayer is not genuine if our hands do not agree wit it. Hence: pray and work. Every action of ours should proceed from prayer.--ALBERIONE


Christian Prayer, p. 723

Liturgy of the Pauline Family, p. 181

Lineamenta, n. 11:

St. Paul the Apostle presents himself as an ‘apostle set apart for the Gospel of God’ (Rom 1:1; 1 Cor 1:17)…. In referring to the Gospel, we must not think of it only as a book or a set of teachings. The Gospel is much more; it is a living and efficacious Word, which accomplishes what it says. It is not so much a system of articles of faith and moral precepts, much less a political programme, but a person: Jesus Christ, the definitive Word of God, who became man. The Gospel is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, not only does the Gospel have Jesus Christ as its content; but even more, through the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ is also the promoter and the centre of its proclamation and transmission. Consequently, the goal of the transmission of the faith is the realization of a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, in the Spirit, thereby leading to an experiencing of his Father and our Father.”

Canticle of Zechariah

Antiphon: LPF, p. 184

Concluding Prayer: LPF, p. 183

Nov. 24

Let us make ourselves the pen and the mouth of God, for Jesus Christ, our Master. The whole man in Jesus Christ, for a total love of God: intelligence, will, heart, physical forces. All: nature, grace, vocation and apostolate. A cart that runs on four wheels: sanctity, study, apostolate and poverty.--ALBERIONE

Nov. 25

If St. Paul were living today, he would ascend the most elevated pulpits, and he would multiply his words through the means of current progress. The Pauline Family has been raised up by St. Paul to continue hiw work; it is in fact St. Paul, living and made up of so many members.--ALBERIONE

Use as an introduction to prayer: Liturgy of the Pauline Family, p. 182


Christian Prayer, p. 758

Lineamenta, nn. 6, 13:

Through migration “our societies are experiencing an unprecedented encounter and mixing of cultures….In such a situation, the new evangelization can provide the opportunity no longer to perceive the Church's mission as a north-south or west-east dynamic but one which transcends the geographic confines of past missionary activity. Today, all five continents are fields of missionary activity. We must also seek to understand the sectors and places in life where faith is absent, not simply as a result of drifting from the faith but from never having encountered it. Transcending the geographic confines of former missionary activity means having the capacity to raise the question of God at every moment in the encounters created by the mixing and rebuilding of the fabric of society….”

“Migrants must not simply be evangelized but be trained themselves to be evangelizing agents.”

Canticle of Zechariah

Antiphon: LPF, p. 184

Concluding Prayer: LPF, p. 183

Canticle of the Media of Social Communication

Response: Blessed by the Lord our God.

Blessed be the Lord our God, for our sister, the printed word, food for the intellect and light for the soul. R

We pray to you, Lord, for all the journalists of the world, cartoon and poster designers, publicity artists. R

Fill with the light of your wisdom writers, printers, distributors, and readers; keep them in your love and at the humble service of truth. R.

Praise be to you, O Lord, for our brother Cinema and his dynamic story-telling. He has the fascinating power of dialogue, drama, music and visual. R.

Guide, O Lord, producers, directors, actors and audiences towards all that is true and good, all that celebrated life and love of God. R.

Blessed be the Lord our God for our sister Radio who walks on the wings of the wine and makes the earth seem small. R.

We pray for all radio stations and transmitters; may this gift of God and work of humans be used for the freedom and growth and brotherhood of all your children. R.

Praise be to you, O Lord, for Television. May this pulpit in the heart of every home not disturb but increase harmony in family and prepare a people guided by Gospel values. R.

Praise be to you, Lord God, for email and internet, CD, FAX, cell-phone, social media and all the powerful means for the service of communication in the world and your Kingdom. May they sing your praise and glory. Amen. R.

To the Trinity

Most holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we thank you in union with the whole Church and in Jesus Master the Way, the Truth and the Life for the gift of sanctity, light and grace bestowed on your faithful servant James Alberione, the untiring apostle of the Gospel to the whole world. Grant that we may follow his example with complete fidelity to his spirit. May he be a guide and protector of all those who work for the coming of the Kingdom of God through the means of social communication. May he be to us light, guide and support in our work of sanctification and in our apostolate. Through his intercession grant us the graces we need. Mary, Queen of the Apostles, and St. Paul the Apostle, graciously support our petitions with your intercession. Amen.


Liturgist: Jesus Master, we praise and thank you for the gift of James Alberione,

Response: our father and model in sanctity and apostolate. Amen.

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November 17, 2011


"LOVE BEGINS" stars MY awesome nephew, JERE BURNS (my half-brother's son), as the awesome sheriff.

In "LOVE BEGINS," Clark Davis is faced with the decision to follow his dreams of adventure or stay in the town where love begins. If given the choice between adventure and true love, which would you choose and why?

Oh yes, and it stars MY awesome nephew, JERE BURNS.

Submit your answer to to enter for your chance to win one of three copies of Fox Home Entertainment’s LOVE BEGINS DVD, inspired by the best-selling series from Janette Oke.

Contest ends next Tuesday, November 22 (the DVD’s release date). Winners will be notified by email.

Did I mention my awesome nephew, JERE BURNS, is in it?

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In the spirit of Theology of the Body!

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November 13, 2011


“Tower Heist” is one of those “almost” movies. It’s “almost” a good movie that “almost” achieved what it was going for. First of all, it’s difficult to define the genre: A satire? A comedy? A dramedy? Don’t be fooled by the Eddie Murphy billing. This is Ben Stiller’s film. But a rather serious Ben Stiller. Eddie Murphy comes into the picture far too late (I expected the audience in my cinema to start chanting “Eddie!” “Eddie!” while awaiting his delayed appearance. I almost started it myself.) Then, when he finally shows up, the missing-in-action-at-the-movies-for-far-too-long Eddie Murphy, the funniest guy in the room, spends much of his time standing around silentely like chopped liver in this semi-ensemble flick. Tres disappointing.

Ben Stiller (consistently fabulous) plays Josh Kovacs, an upright, conscientious building manager of an upscale apartment in New York City--a whiz at his job and someone who has a heart for all the “little people,” the domestic staff. Arthur Shaw (a very effectively heartless, soul-less, icy-eyed Alan Alda) is a Bernie Madoff-type who lives in the building and is indicted for securities fraud—if only the FBI can prove it—that directly effects Josh and the building staff who trusted Shaw with their money and pensions. Eddie Murphy is Slide, a petty criminal who lives near Josh and whom Josh eventually enlists to help get his and his staff’s vanished money back.

The rest of the cast is truly star-studded: Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Gabourey Sidibe, Judd Hirsch, and Tea Leoni who gives a show-stealing performance as an unlikely FBI agent.

The story-line hangs together very well, albeit at a slow pace that never quite revs up. The tee-hees are sparsely spaced. In the end, the whole point of “Heist” seems to be a kind of revenge fantasy in the spirit of Occupy Wall Street. The soundtrack is a monotonous super-cool, bass-driven loop.

There is an interminable sequence that takes up a good portion of the second half of the film involving a very expensive sports car and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. (What is it with filmmakers and iconic parades?)

Unfortunately, this PG-13 film is littered with frequent, graphic, offensive and over-the-top sex banter that really crosses the line for a PG-13.

“Tower Heist” is illustrative of the Gospel for the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: “He who is faithful in little things will be faithful in greater,” both in a positive dimension (Josh Kovacs) and a negative dimension (Arthur Shaw).

The great lesson to be learned from “Heist” is that the underdog can fight back and win, but there will be a price to pay. This was so well executed that the folks in my cinema clapped at the end of the film—I could actually feel the applause coming—not so much for the film, but for the righteous point made.


--Why don't male Hollywood actors DYE their graying hair? They would look soooo much younger. This means YOU, Denzel, Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, (Clooney, you're OK). Alda and Hirsch--it doesn't even matter.

--Casey Affleck rocks, but this part was below him and he knew it.

--"What's Code Black?" ha ha

--"Heist" needed way more funny. But the funny was funny.

--A few "Jesus Christs." Even one is too many. ESPECIALLY in a comedy.

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