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2008 Posts

Movies that matter

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy   🕔 Friday 31, October 2008 Categories: Prayer and Spirituality

For you political junkies wondering what to do once the election is over, or for all those preparing to settle into winter, you might consider making your way through the list of 45 “best films” chosen by the Vatican in 1995 in honor of the 100th anniversary of cinema. Although film buffs may argue with certain selections and omissions, overall it is an admirable compilation that shows a real appreciation for the art of movies and moviemaking.

In the months ahead I will offer some mini reviews and commentary as I delve into these film classics. I encourage you to offer your own reviews or comments. We can also begin to compile our own VISION list of Best Films that can include releases in the past decade as well.

As I look over the list, of the ones I’ve already viewed, I’d have to say Babette’s Feast and Stagecoach top my list. I was happily surprised to see It’s a Wonderful Life on the list—it probably is my favorite Frank Capra film although I do love Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It Happened One Night. But for all around entertaining Christmas films A Christmas Story is one I can and do watch over and over.

I look forward to your comments. Happy viewing!


The Vatican Best Films List (1885-1995)

Andrei Rublev * Andrei Tarkowsky (1969, USSR)
The Mission * Roland Joffé (1986, UK)
La passion de Jeanne d’Arc (The Passion of Joan of Arc) *
Carl T. Dreyer (1928, France)
La vie et la passion de Jésus Christ (Life and Passion of Christ) * Ferdinand Zecca and Lucien Nonguet (1905, France) Identified on the Vatican film list as La Passion Pathé
Francesco, giullare di Dio (The Flowers of St. Francis / Francis, God’s Jester) * Roberto Rossellini (1950, Italy)
Il vangelo secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to Matthew) * Pier Paolo Pasolini (1964, France/Italy)
Thérèse * Alain Cavalier (1986, France)
Ordet (The Word) * Carl T. Dreyer (1955, Denmark)
Offret — Sacrificatio (The Sacrifice) * Andrei Tarkowsky (1986, Sweden/UK/France)
Francesco * Liliana Cavani (1989, Italy/Germany)
Ben-Hur [A Tale of the Christ] * William Wyler (1959, USA)
Babettes gæstebud (Babette’s Feast) * Gabriel Axel (1987, Denmark)
Nazarín * Luis Buñuel (1958, Mexico)
Monsieur Vincent * Maurice Cloche (1947, France)
A Man for All Seasons * Fred Zinnemann (1966, UK)

Gandhi * Richard Attenborough (1982, UK/USA/India)
Intolerance * D. W. Griffith (1916, USA)
Dekalog (The Decalogue) * Krzysztof Kieslowski (1987, Poland)
Identified on the Vatican film list as Il Decalogo
Au Revoir, Les Enfants (Goodbye, Children) * Louis Malle (1987, France)
Dersu Uzala * Akira Kurosawa (1974, Japan)
L’albero degli zoccoli (The Tree of the Wooden Clogs) * Ermanno Olmi (1978, Italy/France)
Roma, città aperta (Open City) * Roberto Rossellini (1946, Italy)
Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries) * Ingmar Bergman (1957, Sweden)
Det sjunde inseglet (The Seventh Seal) * Ingmar Bergman (1957, Sweden)
Chariots of Fire * Hugh Hudson (1981, UK)
Ladri di biciclette (The Bicycle Thief) * Vittorio de Sica (1948, Italy)
It’s a Wonderful Life * Frank Capra (1946, USA)
Schindler’s List * Steven Spielberg (1993, USA)
On the Waterfront * Elia Kazan (1954, USA)
Biruma No Tategoto (The Burmese Harp) * Kon Ichikawa (1956, Japan)

2001: A Space Odyssey * Stanley Kubrick (1968, UK/USA)
La Strada * Federico Fellini (1954, Italy)
Citizen Kane * Orson Welles (1941, USA)
Metropolis * Fritz Lang (1927, Germany)
Modern Times * Charlie Chaplin (1936, USA)
Napoléon * Abel Gance (1927, Italy)
* Federico Fellini (1963, Italy)
La grande illusion (Grand Illusion) * Jean Renoir (1937, France)
Nosferatu * F. W. Murnau (1922, Germany)
Stagecoach * John Ford (1939, USA)
Il Gattopardo (The Leopard) * Luchino Visconti (1963, Italy/France)
Fantasia * (1940, USA)
The Wizard of Oz * Victor Fleming (1939, USA)
The Lavender Hill Mob * Charles Crichton (1951, UK)
Little Women * George Cukor (1933, USA)

What would you add?
Films released prior to 1995?
Films released after 1995?

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Test your faith

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy   🕔 Tuesday 16, September 2008 Categories: Doctrines & Beliefs

I'm a long way away from the days when Sister Firmina would test us third graders on our weekly catechism, but I remember learning the four marks of the church from her. She would be proud that I got question #7 right on the "What's your Catholic IQ" quiz I came across in the current issue of Catechist, However, none of my high school and college New Testament professors will be pleased to learn that I missed #3. Better get back to my scripture studies!

Anyway hope you enjoy it. Let us know what stumped you and what you learned. Or better yet send us some of your questions, and we'll create our own Vision Catholic IQ quiz.

What's your Catholic IQ Quiz

Answer key


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What Catholic voters care about

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy   🕔 Thursday 07, August 2008 Categories: Doctrines & Beliefs

Catholic voters—47 million strong—are being wooed by Democrats and Republicans alike in the upcoming election cycle. “The trick,” says Amy Sullivan in a recent Time article, “is figuring out what Catholics want.”

That is no easy task. But here are the issues that should be of concern to Catholics as they weigh and measure the candidates, according to the United States Conference of Catholic bishops’ website

The Right to Life and the Dignity of the Human Person: Human life is sacred. Direct attacks on innocent human beings are never morally acceptable. Within our society, life is under direct attack from abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, and destruction of human embryos for research. These intrinsic evils must always be opposed. This teaching also compels us as Catholics to oppose genocide, torture, unjust war, and the use of the death penalty, as well as to pursue peace and help overcome poverty, racism, and other conditions that demean human life.

Call to Family, Community, and Participation: The family, based on marriage between a man and a woman, is the fundamental unit of society. This sanctuary for the creation and nurturing of children must not be redefined, undermined, or neglected. Supporting families should be a priority for economic and social policies. How our society is organized—in economics and politics, in law and public policy—affects the well-being of individuals and of society. Every person and association has a right and a duty to participate in shaping society to promote the well-being of individuals and the common good.

Rights and Responsibilities: Every human being has a right to life, the fundamental right that makes all other rights possible. Each of us has a right to religious freedom, which enables us to live and act in accord with our God-given dignity, as well as a right to access to those things required for human decency—food and shelter, education and employment, health care and housing. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities—to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.

Option for the Poor and Vulnerable: While the common good embraces all, those who are in greatest need deserve preferential concern. A moral test for society is how we treat the weakest among us—the unborn, those dealing with disabilities or terminal illness, the poor and marginalized.

Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers: The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Economic justice calls for decent work at fair, living wages, opportunities for legal status for immigrant workers, and the opportunity for all people to work together for the common good through their work, ownership, enterprise, investment, participation in unions, and other forms of economic activity.

Solidarity: We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. Our Catholic commitment to solidarity requires that we pursue justice, eliminate racism, end human trafficking, protect human rights, seek peace, and avoid the use of force except as a necessary last resort.

Caring for God’s Creation: Care for the earth is a duty of our Catholic faith. We all are called to be careful stewards of God’s creation and to ensure a safe and hospitable environment for vulnerable human beings now and in the future.

Responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation, the bishops tell us. So, above all, VOTE!


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Vocation Match makes the national news—again

Posted by:   🕔 Monday 21, April 2008 Categories: Vocation and Discernment
The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric for Thursday, April 17 showcased the VISION VocationMatch as one of the ways the Catholic Church has gone "high-tech" in its promotion of religious vocations. The story also gathered some of its background statistics from VISION's recent Trends on Vocations press release.

Click here to viewto the CBS clip. The link to the clip is also available on the VISION website homepage.
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