Category: Arts, Leisure & Culture

In Theaters: <em>The Nutcracker and the Four Realms</em>
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In Theaters: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

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All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants is a key – a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key—which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It’s there that Clara […]

<em>God Friended Me</em> New TV Series
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God Friended Me New TV Series

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Miles Finer has good reasons not to believe in God. Or so he thinks. That’s what a tragedy can do to a person who measures God against prayer results. Never mind that his father is a pastor, it seems to Miles that God either doesn’t come through for us or he just isn’t there. The […]

Are You an Insecure Woman?
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Are You an Insecure Woman?

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Are women more prone to insecurity than men? Maybe. At least about some things. Who is under the magnifying glass more on appearance? How about how clean a house is? My brother-in-law once said, housework is more a reflection on the woman than the man. Fair or not, it’s true. That’s not to say that […]

Movie Review: <em>Unbroken: Path to Redemption</em>
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Movie Review: Unbroken: Path to Redemption

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When World War II ended, Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian runner and war hero, was ready for peace. But soon, he fell captive to another more personal war. Memories from his ruthless treatment in a Japanese prisoner of war camp would not release him. The story was told in 2014 in Unbroken, but that movie only hinted in […]

Upcoming Movie, <em>The Nun</em> Tackles Evil Onscreen
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Upcoming Movie, The Nun Tackles Evil Onscreen

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The Nun, is a film that releases this September about a priest and a woman who is in training to become a religious sister sent to investigate the mysterious death of a nun at an isolated, ancient convent. Last summer, I was graciously invited by Warner Bros. and the filmmakers to visit their set in […]

New in Theaters: <em>Operation Finale</em>
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New in Theaters: Operation Finale

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Operation Finale, brings to life one of the most daring covert operations in modern history. Starring Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, Schindler’s List) and Golden Globe winner Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, X-Men: Apocalypse), the film vividly captures the ingenious and brilliantly executed mission to capture Adolf Eichmann, one of the […]

<em>Humility Rules</em>: Book Review
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Humility Rules: Book Review

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Anyone need a good book for teenage boys?  That’s inspiring, short, and hilarious? If so, you’re in luck. Ignatius Press has just the thing: Humility Rules: Saint Benedict’s 12-Step Guide to Genuine Self-Esteem by Brother J. Augustine Wetta. Recently a friend of mine gave this book to me, and I read it in a day […]

Tom Wolfe (1930-2018), A Writer’s Writer, Dies
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Tom Wolfe (1930-2018), A Writer’s Writer, Dies

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Susie Fulton, bombshell girlfriend during my graduate school days, had a phrase which perfectly summarizes Tom Wolfe’s early journalism and late novel-writing: “Those of you who think you know what’s going on are really beginning to annoy those of us who do.” TW broke through fakery, excuse-making and hero-worship. American letters has lost a keen […]

You Need a Silent Retreat
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You Need a Silent Retreat

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As we’re now in the Easter season and summer is just around the corner, I want to strongly encourage all of you to sign yourselves up for a silent retreat this year. Yep, just look at your summer calendars, and do it. Unfortunately for me, I’ll have to wait until my latest baby is done […]

Good Friday, Allegri, and A White Easter
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Good Friday, Allegri, and A White Easter

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Today is Good Friday. Now I know that I ought to be focused on the passion and death of Jesus Christ, and I am, but I am also a mother. Therefore, I must plan ahead for my family accordingly. And this entails preparing any necessary music that my family will want to sing and listen […]

In the Shadow of Saints -- Padre Pio and St. John Paul II
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In the Shadow of Saints — Padre Pio and St. John Paul II

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Meeting a Future Saint In the 80s, my husband Cliff, a news photographer and reporter, accompanied Bismarck, ND Catholic Bishop John Kinney to Rome to record his five-year Ad-Limina visit, which is an obligation of church hierarchy to visit the tombs of the apostles, and to meet with the pope, in this case, Pope John […]

Beauty From Ashes: <em>I Can Only Imagine</em>, the Backstory
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Beauty From Ashes: I Can Only Imagine, the Backstory

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In 2004, I was making my way through the canned goods aisle at my local supermarket when I heard the opening chords of MercyMe’s hit song “I Can Only Imagine” being broadcast over the store’s sound system. I had two conflicting responses: 1) this song doesn’t belong in a grocery store, and 2) I think […]

<em>I Can Only Imagine</em> Opens in Theaters
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I Can Only Imagine Opens in Theaters

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Pain is powerful when it’s transformed by redemption, hope, faith, and God. It is the story that inspired the song, I Can Only Imagine the best-selling Christian single of all time, selling 2.5 million copies. The touching ballad which considers what heaven and meeting God will be like, is the only song ever to go […]

Modern Man’s Most Magnificent Mass
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Modern Man’s Most Magnificent Mass

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Which of the two forms of the Roman Rite, as Pope Benedict XVI called them, best encourages active participation, is most emotionally satisfying, and unequivocally equips the worshiper with the graces necessary to confront the modern world? Dr. Peter Kwasniewski’s answer may surprise you. In his book Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness: that the Mass of […]

<em>The Man Who Invented Christmas</em>: Fiction and Reality Overlap to Tell Dickens' Tale
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The Man Who Invented Christmas: Fiction and Reality Overlap to Tell Dickens’ Tale

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Christmas is the birth of Jesus. And right behind that is Charles Dickens story, A Christmas Carol. For me, anyway. One is the reason for the season and the other is the spirit of the season. The movie The Man Who Invented Christmas, opening in theaters, Friday, November 22, chronicles the story behind the classic […]

<em>Same Kind of Different As Me</em>: a Reminder of the Healing Power of Forgiveness
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Same Kind of Different As Me: a Reminder of the Healing Power of Forgiveness

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Forgiveness leads to happiness and the beauty of renewed relationships. It also led to the new movie, Same Kind of Different as Me. Studies show that the happiest people are the ones that can forgive. This movie shows what it looks like to forgive what many consider the unforgivable—an extramarital affair. Based on the New […]

Movie Review: <em>Goodbye Christopher Robin</em>
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Movie Review: Goodbye Christopher Robin

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Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh are unique among the most widely loved storybook characters of all time. They were actually real. Until I previewed the movie Goodbye Christopher Robin, I did not know that the Winnie-the-Pooh stories by A.A. Milne were based on a real person. And the assortment of animals such as Piglet, Eyore, Tigger, […]

Selfless
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Selfless

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The word selfless appears to be an oxymoron at first glance, a contradiction if you will. We are encouraged through Scripture in both the New and Old Testaments on numerous occasions that, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love yourself too much, and risk being an egomaniac and your neighbor is literally invisible much […]

<i>25 Life-Changing Questions from the Gospels</i>
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25 Life-Changing Questions from the Gospels

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“Good teachers provide good answers, but exceptional teachers ask great questions.” In the Gospels, Jesus asks over 100 questions. Allan F. Wright, academic dean for evangelization at St. Paul Inside the Walls and an adjunct professor of biblical studies at Seton Hall University, chooses 25 of these questions to dissect and reflect on in 25 […]

A 10-Day Retreat with St. Francis de Sales
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A 10-Day Retreat with St. Francis de Sales

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Lift up Your Heart: A10-Day Retreat with St. Francis de Sales by Rev. John Burns (Ave Maria Press, 2017) is an updated version of St. Francis de Sales’ meditations, originally published in 1609. Fr. Burns discovered these meditations during a time of his own spiritual searching and seeks to share them with a new generation. […]

Sacred Music “Starter’s Kit” Helps Parishes Sing with the Universal Church
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Sacred Music “Starter’s Kit” Helps Parishes Sing with the Universal Church

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Just how far off the mark is the music at your parish? The question seems unfair, yet the vast majority of parishes in the United States engage in liturgical deviations of the musical variety. Everything from folk music to heavy metal has been heard at Mass, despite having no official approval by the Church. Curiously, […]

Vatican Previewed <em>The Promise</em>, Film about Armenian Genocide
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Vatican Previewed The Promise, Film about Armenian Genocide

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The movie, The Promise about the Armenian genocide, was viewed at the Vatican’s 50-seat screening room on April 4 with director Terry George, producer Eric Esrailian and some of the talent. The Pope was not able to attend however senior Vatican officials were in attendance at the screening. According to Variety: “When there was awareness [within the Vatican] […]

Where Did You Find God Today?
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Where Did You Find God Today?

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Several years ago, I had a spiritual director who encouraged me to reflect on the following question: “Where did you find God today?” That is the question at the heart of Andy Otto’s new book, God Moments (Ave Maria Press, 2017). Otto, who has a master’s degree in theology and ministry, is a Catholic writer, […]

Are You "All In" When It Comes to Your Catholic Faith?
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Are You “All In” When It Comes to Your Catholic Faith?

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What’s your relationship to the Catholic Church? Are you devoted? Dedicated but doing the minimum required? Dabbling? Discouraged or done with the Church? Unsure? In All In (Ave Maria Press, 2017), Pat Gohn invites readers to reconsider their relationship with the Church, whatever that relationship might currently be. Gohn is a cradle Catholic, but truly […]

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