Nov 28, 2006

The Nativity Movie

I previewed the movie last night at a screening for Catholic Leaders and I went in very skeptical.

But I have to say I really liked this movie--which I think paints a description of Mary and Joseph's fears and hopes well--even if it's pure conjecture on the writer's part.

There are many "foreshadowing scenes" which I thought were well done. Scenes of crucified bodies on the roadside, Mary washing Joseph's feet while on the journey to bethlehem, and a nod to the empty tomb when the soldiers look for the baby Jesus in Bethlehem only to find a piece of swaddling clothes in the manger.

There's one ridiculous scene where a snake bites Mary's donkey when they try to cross the river--an obvious link with "the fall." I just thought it was a bit too much--as I did with all the big music swells. Every time we see Herod you hear music like he's Darth if we needed that. It insults the viewer to the max.

In all, I think the movie was a huge tribute to St. Joseph played by Oscar Isaac, who clearly steals the show. The three wise men are very much like 3 wise guys who often have great one liners. Keisha Castle-Hughes, plays Mary and overdoes it at times but often hits the mark--trying desperately to juxtapose the image of the Saintly Blessed Mother and a poor peasant girl in Nazareth. Elizabeth is also well played by Shohreh Aghdashloo.

For the pious in's all there...Animals, shepherds, wise men, the manger and the dreaded star in the East. For those of us looking for a more reality based look at first century Nazareth there's plenty that takes us beyond the scriptures to attempt to see what could have been at hand.

This movie won't go down with the best of the all-time holiday movies most likely...but I think it is one that you should check out on the big screen and not wait for Blockbuster.

Letterman on 86 Mets

OK--this is just downright funny. As an 86 Mets fan I can say out loud that Dave is right on the money here.


Kind of sad when you think about the hall of fame career that both Gooden and Straw threw away. Dykstra probably as well.

Nov 27, 2006

Colbert's Liturgical Dance

In case you missed it...Amy Welborn reminded me of this today. You could tell this was like a "B roll" where they just said "do something goofy."


Nov 22, 2006

30 Days

Here's my latest article which has garnered some interest.

Gotta love Morgan Spurlock.

Nov 21, 2006

Kramer's A Racist

Undoubtedly Michael Richards went way too far in trying to one-up a heckler at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles.

Here's the link to his tirade.

Some time ago when I was in radio production we had a guest who used the term "pickaninnie" when describing growing up on a plantation in the South. You could imagine the calls we received to the station--and rightfully so.

Our operations director at the time was a black female. She remarked--"Whatever hate is inside that woman has been there for a long time. But that doesn't make it right and we should deeply apologize for this."

And that is right on the money.

I don't know what to make of Richards' apology on Letterman. DO you?

Nov 20, 2006

Women Healing from Abuse

As a pastoral minister, I have to say that the number of women who I have had the priviledge of getting to know well through retreat ministry or spiritual direction who have faced abuse in their lives has increased well beyond the numbers I would've expected. It is staggering to think that in a room of 2o women, 8 of them have probably been physically abused.

As a man this makes me angry and thus I am proud and happy to announce that my good friend Nicole Sotelo has an outstanding new book of meditations called:

Women Healing from Abuse: Meditations for Finding Peace (Paulist Press).

Order it here.

Nov 15, 2006

Bishops Meetings

Seems to me that several good things are going on at the USCCB's meetings this week (which is televised on EWTN). Three big documents came out yesterday:

1) On the pastoral care of homosexual persons
2) On married love
3) Happy are those who are called to his supper: On receiving communion

Read them here:

I like the eucharist document very much with one small quibble. They really should have made a stronger statement on saying "Amen" when the minister of the eucharist or the priest/deacon says: The Body of Christ. They talk about the solemn bow as an acknowledgement but not the actual saying of Amen. I have to prompt people constantly to say this at mass when I'm a eucharistic minister.

Staph Infections

The former Lt. Governor of NY, Betsy McCaughey had an excellent op-ed in yesterday's NY Times on the dangers of staph-like infections in hospitals. I have known three people who essentially died as the result of these infections over the past two years. If you've got political pull---now's the time.

Nov 13, 2006

Westside Paulist's Funeral

Since someone asked about services for Westside Paulist...I regret to inform you that they were already held on Friday at the Paulist Motherhouse--St Paul the Apostle in Manhattan where Fr. Hunt lived.

The services were a wonderful celebration of his life. Moving eulogies, bagpipes, good preaching by the Paulist President, John Duffy, and a big crowd of admirers.

I was particularly moved that two of the older Paulists who often even have trouble getting out of bed came to not only the wake and funeral but also made the trek out to Oak Ridge, NJ where Fr. Michael is buried at Mt. Paul Retreat Center (and the site of the old novitiate where his Paulist brothers are buried and where many if not all of them started their Paulist careers).

One Paulist quipped: "Wow! You could tell how much he was respected and loved...even the guys in their 90s came out for this one."

Since some of you asked, mass cards and condolences can be sent to the Paulists. They can forward to his family to keep their privacy in tact.

Paulist Fathers
415 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019

Thanks for all your prayers

Nov 12, 2006

Who knew Russell Crowe could sing?

Found this on You Tube...This is one of my favorite songs (One good year) and I think Crowe delivers this better than other artists have. Kind of a different vibe than the originial.

Nov 7, 2006

Westside Paulist RIP

Westside Paulist, one of our blogger friends, went home to God yesterday...after battling a long illness. Fr. Michael Hunt, CSP--an outstanding man and Paulist Priest--was a wonderful man. Because of him, I have a book about to go to press next fall...he edited the first manuscript along with a strongly worded letter to the President at Paulist Press to publish it.

Fr. Michael appreciated all the prayers people sent his way. He lived with a grace that few could ever capture. Please keep his family in your prayers--especially his sister, Ann and his brother, David --as well as his Paulist family at 59th Street...where his voice rang through the common room always with strong wit and intelligence.

I am a better man for having known him.

Googling God

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