‘Faith in Media': Father Tony Ricard and Sister Nancy Usselmann Talk Media Evangelization

Faith-in-Media-Evangelizaton-Father-Tony-Ricard-Sister-Nancy-UsselmannIn the next two installments from our “Faith in Media” series, we look at using modern media to evangelize. While some Catholics shy away from mass media and popular culture, if you plan to reach people where they are, you’re doing it wrong.

As the Apostles used the Roman roads and all the available tools in their day to get the Word out, it’s incumbent on us to figure out not only how to use media to spread the Gospel, but to unearth all the places in existing media where a seed of faith can be found.

First up is Father Tony Ricard of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, a dynamic speaker and media evangelist, or, as his Twitter account describes him, “A gifted teacher and anointed preacher.” In particular, he talks about what St. Paul might be saying if he were around today, which is “get a camera, and I need wi-fi” …

Next is Sister Nancy Usselmann of the Daughters of Saint Paul, the new national director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies. She seeks to develop a theology of popular culture and “becoming cultural mystics,” inspired by Bishop Robert Barron, and encompassing everything from movies to songs by Eminem and Yelawolf …

More to come!

Images: Courtesy Fr. R. Tony Ricard; Sister Nancy Usselmann

Visit the Family Theater Productions homepage and Facebook page to learn more about how FTP is reaching out to Hollywood and producing its own projects.

Reflecting on the Legacy of William Peter Blatty and ‘The Exorcist’

William-Peter-Blatty-FFBEarly in the morning of Friday, Jan. 13, “The Exorcist” director William Friedkin announced via Twitter that his friend and collaborator, William Peter Blatty — who wrote both the novel and screenplay for the 1973 film — had passed away the day before.

Blatty-Friedkin

Blatty, a lifelong Catholic of Lebanese extraction, was 89. Born in New York City, he attended a Jesuit high school and later studied at Georgetown and George Washington Universities. After working as a door-to-door salesman and a stint in the Air Force, Blatty came to Los Angeles in the 1950s. He worked in PR and journalism, later writing comedy, ghostwriting for advice author Dear Abby (Abigail Van Buren) and penning more than a dozen novels.

His most recent book was “Finding Peter: A True Story of the Hand of Providence and Evidence of Life After Death” in 2015, which focused on his only child, son Peter, who died of a heart ailment in 2006.

The-Exorcist-William-Peter-Blatty

Blatty remains best known for “The Exorcist,” published in 1971. It was a literary hit, and that may be because of a bit of divine intervention.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

After an extremely slow start, his Exorcist novel wound up selling 13 million copies, thanks in large part to an appearance on The Dick Cavett Show.

Beatty was booked on the talk show at the last minute when someone else fell through, then given more time when the first guest, actor Robert Shaw, was sent off early (he may have been drunk, Blatty noted in a 2013 interview with the Los Angeles Times).

“I always believe that there is a divine hand everywhere,” said Blatty, who got to chat about his book with Cavett for nearly 45 minutes on national TV. The Exorcist then jumped to No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list and attracted the attention of Warner Bros. head John Calley.

Here at Family Theater Productions, we’re big fans of Blatty and “The Exorcist” — I even liked the Fox spin-off series of the same name, which just finished its first season on a high note — so I turned to a couple of our film experts for opinions.

First, here’s Father Vince Kuna, C.S.C., a Holy Cross priest (FTP was founded by a Holy Cross priest, Father Patrick Peyton, and remains under the auspices of the order), who’s also trained in film production. He’s currently at Holy Cross’ Notre Dame University, teaching a film-related course. Reached by email, he wrote:

I join with Catholics, priests, exorcists and people of good will around the world in mourning the loss of William Peter Blatty, famed writer of THE EXORCIST, an account of the real-life exorcism that took place at St. Louis University many years ago. In a cynical world that often scoffs at the mere mention of the supernatural, Blatty gave us pause to consider the reality of evil and the sacred actions required to drive it out.

As a young child, my father encouraged me to watch THE EXORCIST to counterbalance the now, in hindsight, laughable horror films I so cherished in the 1980s. The film did not disappoint. I ran out of the living room and dove under the covers of my bed the first time I saw Regan “spider walk.” Little did I know, the seeds for a vocation to priesthood were planted.

I hope the consulting work I continue to do on demonic-possession films and television programs will honor the memory of William … scaring future audiences, to be true, but leading them to greater faith as well.

Then I turned to Anthony Sands, FTP’s Senior Producer and resident film buff, for his reaction. He wrote:

William Blatty not only impacted Hollywood and entertainment, but all of American culture as well as American Catholicism. In the 1960s and 1970s, the first winds of the “Spirit of Vatican II” were making their way from Europe and into the U.S. Among many alterations that were entering into the Catholic Church was a mentality that Catholics were seen as a backward, superstitious lot who believed in “magic” and were trapped in the Dark Ages. Part of the push came, sometimes through the offices of the U.S. hierarchy, to distance ourselves from the supernatural or unexplained and focus on the historical, the strictly factual and modern explanations of ancient beliefs.

One of the biggest ideas was to get away from the idea of the Devil, or actual demons, and write off Satan and his legions as a creation of the Medieval church, or a literary construct used by Christ to explain the concept of evil to an uneducated people. Demons were also being recast, as merely the figurative term the Gospels used to explain things like mental illness to a culture 2,000 years before Freud and popular psychology (which was quickly becoming the rage of 1960s and ‘70s.)

The Devil was becoming an idea rather than a person, and many, many in America, both in the Church and in the culture, were happy to see that occur.

Then enter William Blatty, with his book based on the case of an actual exorcism in the U.S. The book became the Academy Award-winning film “The Exorcist,” and Blatty helped make Satan and his demons real again. He made evil a tangible thing that had to be addressed, confronted and overcome, and not just an “outdated concept driven disordered psychoses” as many in the pop psychology culture wished it to become.

“The Exorcist” made it acceptable to believe in real good and evil.

Also, in a culture that recently embraced the motto “F- the Man!”, it make it OK to show a priest in full clerics back on the big screen again. Blatty both reinvented the horror film and certainly created a new sub-genre, the Supernatural Thriller. Blockbusters today ranging from “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” to the “The Conjuring” movies are part of the “The Exorcist’s” legacy.

Today, one of the few recurring roles that depict priests as good people are in films where they are shown performing exorcisms.

Granted, no one person, book or film is solely responsible for such massive cultural shifts. However, they can have great influence. Consider this — up until the 1960’s, every Catholic priest was given the faculties of exorcist as part of his ordination. That stopped in the 1960s.

Then “The Exorcist” came out in 1971. Now, every diocese is once again required to have at least one dedicated exorcist. Sometimes art and an artist can give us a clearer view of our world, even if the view is to recognize darkness.

Well done, William Peter Blatty, good and faithful servant.

Images: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons, Warner Bros. Pictures

Visit the Family Theater Productions homepage and Facebook page to learn more about how FTP is reaching out to Hollywood and producing its own projects.

 

Bishop Barron Weighs in Scorsese’s Jesuit Drama ‘Silence’ (VIDEO)

silence-movie-andrew-garfieldThe Catholic world has long been talking about Martin Scorsese’s “Silence,” his three-decade, passion-project movie version of the 1966 novel by Japanese writer Shusaku Endo.

It follows two Jesuit missionary priests (played in the movie by Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who go to 17th-century Japan in search of a Jesuit mentor (Liam Neeson), who is rumored to have renounced his faith and gone into the service of the government — which he indeed has.

The Christians of Japan are suffering terrible, unspeakably cruel persecutions. The tyrannical rulers subject the priests to torture themselves, and then force them to endure the torture of others, to pressure them to publicly renounce Christ.

These things are boldly portrayed, but then the movie falters.

From The New Yorker:

The cruelties that Rodrigues and Garrupe encounter in Japan reach to the core of Scorsese’s cinematic identity. These afflictions conjure bitter, wild, almost absurd ironies regarding faith and devotion that cast a strange, self-mocking glint over his entire career. Adapted from a 1966 novel by Shusaku Endo, “Silence” approaches grave philosophical, political, and psychological matters unflinchingly. It rises to a harrowing crescendo of overlapping strains of agony—physical and emotional, spiritual and moral—that is among the strangest, most intricately tangled of all of Scorsese’s creations.

Yet it takes two hours for Scorsese to reach that inspired height. Until that point, the movie suffers from literary-ism, a mode of direction that illustrates a set of events with a relentlessly expository, nearly impersonal tone.

Despite great anticipation before and after its Christmas release, and some very good reviews, “Silence” has no awards momentum.

From the New York Post:

This week, the film got completely left off the list of BAFTA nominations. The Producer’s Guild of America didn’t give it one of its ten nominations for its equivalent of Best Picture. (Last year seven of the nine PGA nominees went on to Oscar nominations for Best Picture.)

“Silence” was also shut out at the SAG awards and the Golden Globes. It got the cold shoulder from the American Cinema editors. It didn’t get a screenplay nomination from the Writer’s Guild of America. It won zilch from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics.

There are hundreds of movie awards being given out this season. But so far the one film that was set to dominate them has captured only a measly Best Adapted Screenplay honor from the National Board of Review.

A lot of the reviews, especially the faith ones, praised the film’s ambiguities and subtleties, but Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron is having none of that. He thinks these aspects of the films not only support the attitude of the 17th-century Japanese cultural elites towards the threat of the Faith, and that the movie does the same for the cultural elites today.

You can click here to read what he had to say about the film, but here he is in person, pulling no punches in support of the brave Japanese martyrs:

Images: Courtesy Paramount Pictures

Visit the Family Theater Productions homepage and Facebook page to learn more about how FTP is reaching out to Hollywood and producing its own projects.

‘Faith in Media': Patrick Coffin and IHRadio’s Joseph Nesta Salute Father Patrick Peyton on His Birthday

faith-media-patrick-coffin-patrick-peyton-joseph-nestaFather Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., was born Jan. 9, 1909 in Attymass, a village in County Mayo, Ireland. He passed away in Los Angeles in 1992, but not before founding Family Theater Productions, dedicated to using modern media to help strengthen families, especially through prayer.

FTP recently sat down with several Catholic media professionals to talk about a variety of topics relating to “Faith in Media,” and one of those was the impact of Father Peyton (click here to learn more about him). These videos will also be available on our Facebook page, but below find our conversations with two of them.

Joseph Nesta is a Catholic revert and the senior community relations officer for Catholic radio network Immaculate Heart Radio.

Patrick Coffin is a cradle Catholic, an author, speaker and radio host — for many years, he was the host of “Catholic Answers Live” — and now has embarked on a solo venture at PatrickCoffin.net, featuring news and a podcast.

We’re also celebrating the 75th anniversary of another ministry of Father Peyton, Family Rosary. Here’s the announcement of what’s in store for that organization and the sainthood campaign for Father Peyton:

‘ROSARY PRIEST’ REMEMBERED DURING

FAMILY ROSARY’S 75th ANNIVERSARY YEAR

Servant of God Patrick Peyton began a mission

to build family unity through daily prayer of the Rosary

EASTON, Mass. – It all started when one father prayed one Rosary in one home. Today, that singular act has touched the lives of nearly 50 million people around the world – and it continues to spread!

Sainthood candidate Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., began Family Rosary 75 years ago with the goal of building family unity through daily prayer of the Rosary. He was inspired by his own father, who more than a century ago started praying the Rosary with his family in their poor but spiritually rich home.

Father Peyton devoted his life to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and praying her Rosary. He became gravely ill as a seminarian and the doctors had no hope of recovery. So he did as his father, John, had taught him back home in Ireland.

“Father Peyton was a seminarian, studying for the priesthood, when he was stricken with tuberculosis,” said Father Wilfred Raymond, CSC, President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. “He prayed his Rosary to the Blessed Mother and made a miraculous recovery. From that moment, he knew he was to be the one to carry out her apostolate, her ministry to bring families together for Rosary prayer, just as his family had done.”

That became the foundational experience for Father Peyton (1909-92), also known as the “Rosary Priest,” who went on to lead millions in prayer at events around the world. Father Peyton’s mission, Family Rosary (founded in 1942), continues today through programs, products, events and digital outreach to families around the world.  Recently Family Rosary’s Facebook page surpassed one million followers.  Thousands are reached daily through prayer posts, videos and spiritual messages.  The ministry’s newest outreach, the Daily Family Reflection, provides a daily homily, four-minutes in length, live from The Father Peyton Center in Easton, Massachusetts, USA, available through Facebook and also on their blog, http://blog.FamilyRosary.org.  The ministry also helps families pray through their Daily Family Prayer app and their Family Rosary app.

In addition, Family Rosary has partnered with Growing with the Saints, in the development of a Catholic vacation bible school kit that teaches children how to pray the Rosary and includes take-home elements (in English and Spanish) for the family to pray together each day.  “Tracking Mary: Mysteries & Messages,” the latest vacation bible school program by Growing with the Saints is available at www.GrowingWithTheSaints.com.

“We reach out to young parents where they are – online!” said Father Raymond.  “Helping our young families pray together to strengthen the faith of their family is the focus of everything we do.”

This year, 2017, also marks the 25th anniversary of Father Peyton’s death.  Family Rosary is honoring Father Peyton’s memory through many events and activities throughout the year.  In addition to their ongoing programs, Family Rosary will be announcing shortly the details for a very special prayer event on October 7, 2017.

The essence of Father Peyton’s ministry, which spanned half a century, is relevant and vibrant to families today.   Father Peyton touched the lives of countless individuals with his kindness, sincerity and devotion to Mary. Over the years, he advocated for families by preaching two powerful and memorable sayings: “The Family That Prays Together Stays Together” and “A World at Prayer is a World at Peace.”

The Vatican is considering Father Peyton for sainthood. His life, work, writings and actions are being examined for miracles and other evidence for the canonization of the Rosary Priest. He has been proclaimed a Servant of God in this process with the next steps being bestowal of the term Venerable for his life of heroic virtue, to be followed, God willing, by Beatification and Sainthood.

In the spirit of its founder, Servant of God Patrick Peyton, Family Rosary continues to inspire, promote and foster the prayer life and spiritual well-being of families throughout the world with programs, products and extensive digital outreach. In addition to the United States, Father Peyton’s ministry to family spirituality and prayer has offices in sixteen countries on five continents, truly encircling the globe with constant prayer with and for families of all nations.

For more information, call 800-299-7729 or visit www.FatherPeyton.org,  www.FamilyRosary.org and www.facebook.com/FamilyRosary

Family Rosary is a ministry ofHoly Cross Family Ministries, which is sponsored by the Congregation of Holy Cross.  www.holycrossusa.org

Images: Courtesy Family Theater Productions

Visit the Family Theater Productions homepage and Facebook page to learn more about how FTP is reaching out to Hollywood and producing its own projects.

The Golden Globes’ Roll of Celebrity Deaths: Why Do We Mourn?

mother-angelica-carrie-fisher-prince-david-bowie-ffbOn Sunday, January 8, the telecast of the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards will feature, as it always does, a list of the notable celebrity deaths of the previous year.

This time, the list will be a long one. Among them are stars of earlier eras who reached ripe old ages and passed of natural causes, along with accidental demises, and a fair number of people who succumbed either directly to substance abuse and destructive lifestyles, or at least in part due to the aftereffects of said abuse and lifestyles.

A few took their own lives.

One published list for 2016 has almost 250 names, including David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Nancy Reagan, Joe Garagiola, Morley Safer, Gordie Howe, Arnold Palmer, Florence Henderson, John Glenn, George Michael, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and the one-two punch of Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, who died one day apart right after Christmas.

And, of course, on Easter Sunday, there was EWTN founder Mother Angelica.

Each death brings with it a spasm of public mourning, spreading across social media and generating print and online stories, and endless video reports.

All this, for people the mourners may have never met or even seen in person, or if they did, it was up on a stage or from the stands of a sporting event. And for many, their emotional outpouring for a deceased celebrity may exceed that for deaths of neighbors, co-workers or even family members.

Why do we mourn strangers with such intensity?

EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo had theories, including:

Secretly, it isn’t their death we are disquieted by; it’s our own forthcoming death. Suddenly the icons of youth are gone and we are faced with the inescapable truth: We’re not so young anymore, and all of us eventually will confront the final journey from this life without red carpets, songs, or movie stars.

Closer to home, Family Theater Productions’ Head of Production Father David Guffey, C.S.C., had some thoughts on the phenomenon.

Social media exacerbates it because there’s all sorts of possibilities to publicly express their sorrow. Social media is brilliant, and the perfect medium for it in some ways, because of who celebrities are. Many celebrities in our culture are so much a part of our cultural life, people think they know them. They’ve been in their living rooms; they’ve been with them throughout various points of their lives and their journey, whether it’s a movie or a presence in talk shows or other events. Some people feel quite close to celebrities, and, so, they’re reacting not to a stranger, but someone who feels like a person who’s part of their life.

But, of course, the celebrity really isn’t part of a fan’s life, so Father Guffey cautions:

I would say to people, “We need to put some things in perspective, and it’s okay to be sad about the death of someone but also to step back and say, it might be misplaced grief.” Or, the attention and the love and affection that are given to celebrities might be misplaced, if we aren’t offering the same kind of attention and affection and love to the people who are closest to us.

It’s a relatively few people who go overboard but I think there is peril. It’s very difficult to measure by just a post. You also have to wonder if people have close relationships in their own life, and do they have flesh and blood people that they love and spend time with and treasure and celebrate, or have they become part of a celebrity culture that lives life vicariously through sports celebrities or movie stars or television actors for whom they have no connection at all?

Asked what advice he would give to someone hit hard by a celebrity death, Father Guffey said:

I would try to ask them to pray about “What did this person mean to you? What is it that makes the loss of this person so sad? What role did they play in your life?” At that point, the celebrity has become not a real person, but a symbol of something bigger or greater. So, it’s worth looking at that, whether it’s a good thing.

Maybe people grieved Princess Diana because they grieved for the loss of someone that they perceived as good. Or it could be something more personal, like grieving the loss of youth because Carrie Fisher died at 60, and I’m 55 years old. But it’s
worth reflecting on what’s the underlying cause of the grief.

For a community to grieve the loss of a leader or the loss of a hero, that can be appropriate. It’s always possible to go overboard with grieving, and not living, or not putting things in perspective, because ultimately as Christians we should be rejoicing for them, or praying for their soul as they go before God.

father-mulcahy-william-christopherThe last recorded celebrity death of 2016 — on Dec. 31 — was actor William Christopher, 84, best known for playing Catholic chaplain Lt. Father Francis Mulcahy on “M*A*S*H.”

In the show’s final episode, there was this exchange:

Col. Potter: Well, Francis, you’ve been a godsend.
Father Mulcahy: Look on the bright side: When they tell us to serve our time in Purgatory, we can say, “No thanks, I’ve done mine.”

And the name of the episode?

“Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen.”

Indeed.

Images: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Visit the Family Theater Productions homepage and Facebook page to learn more about how FTP is reaching out to Hollywood and producing its own projects.

 

St. Therese of Lisieux and the Problem of Filming the Story of a Soul

therese-movieJan 2 is the birthday of Therese Martin, born to a well-off and pious Catholic family in France in 1873.

Like her four sisters, Therese entered a convent. For her, like three of her sisters, that meant the cloistered Carmelite community of Lisieux, Normandy. She died at 24 of tuberculosis, but not before completing her autobiography, “The Story of a Soul,” which laid out her “little way” of piety, love and self-sacrifice.

The style of “The Story of a Soul” — very much that of an emotional, sometimes melodramatic young woman — is not to everyone’s liking. But Therese’s detractors seem to be in the distinct minority compared to those who’ve had their lives changed by the slim volume.

Her writings and simple philosophy had such an impact that she was canonized only 28 years after her death, becoming Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face — a k a “The Little Flower — and her feast day is on Oct. 1. Although her short life contained no great accomplishments in the usual sense, and certainly no world-spanning adventures, her spiritual depth caused Pope John Paul II to name her a Doctor of the Church.

Her parents, Louis and Zelie Martin, were later also canonized. Her sister Leonie, or Sister Francoise-Therese, was declared a Servant of God, and there is a canonization cause for her as well.

It’s not surprising that people have made movies about Therese, but it’s proven a challenge to make a good one that appeals to Catholic, non-Catholic Christian and secular audiences.

Looking at two, one made in 1986 and the other in 2004, it’s interesting that the first one got the best secular review.

“Therese,” is a French production, directed by Alain Cavalier, who co-wrote with Camille de Casabianca.

Having seen it at a film festival, legendary New York Times reviewer Vincent Canby called it “cool, unsentimental, astonishingly handsome” and “resolutely objective.” He refers to star Catherine Mouchet’s performance as being done “radiantly and with a good deal of humor.”

From the review:

Therese loves Jesus with a fervor that seems to be an end in itself, and that the film makers regard as no less sincere (and miraculous) for possibly being a sublimation of other longings. Jesus is real to her. She’s even amused by a another nun who says something to the effect that it’s her misfortune to be married to a man who’s been dead 2,000 years.

The film celebrates Therese’s mysticism in a manner that always remains utterly rational – exemplified by its series of short, pungent scenes that have such visual clarity they appear to have been lighted by bolts of lightning.

The 2004 film, also called “Therese,” – directed by Leonardo Defilippis and co-written by Patti Defilippis and Saint Therese (yes, that’s what IMDB says) — got a different reaction from the secular press.

From The Austin Chronicle:

An inspirational tale aimed at believers, Thérèse is unlikely to make new converts or deepen the faith of the sympathetically inclined.

In fact, the film seems to make a case for Thérèse being a spoiled, willful child whose desire to join the convent is just another of her self-centered whims.

A more sympathetic review, from a non-Catholic Christian expresses puzzlement.

As an evangelical Protestant, however, I felt as I watched this first full-length English-language film portrayal of the young lady of Lisieux that I had somehow wandered into a theater playing a foreign film without subtitles. Something was being communicated just below the surface here, I thought, in telegraphic symbols and catchphrases, but I was too dense to quite catch the deeper meaning. I felt uncomfortable, as if I sat with a sign around my neck reading “clueless Protestant.”

The point of this cinematic morality tale (I can hardly call it a biography, let alone a history) is both painfully clear and bewilderingly alien to Protestant sensibilities: the road to intimacy with Jesus must run through renunciation and suffering. The small struggles and untimely death of a cloistered young woman can touch us and show us the way to true sanctity.

Lest you think it’s just because an Evangelical can’t grasp the subtleties of Catholic imagery or imagination, let’s turn to Catholic Deacon Steven Greydanus. He reviewed the movie for a piece that originally appeared in the National Catholic Register:

While he admired how the movie made Therese seem very human, he writes that it doesn’t quite capture what made her saintly:

Yet the movie tells rather than shows. When Thérèse speaks of giving up her own will and pleasing others, there’s a brief montage of Thérèse bringing her father a drink in the field and the like, but the film never takes Thérèse’s interest in the happiness of those around her, or of its connection with Thérèse’s actions.

Nor do we learn what was so distinctive about Thérèse’s little way. We never see her, for example, as a postulant suffering under and finally learning to mistrust the heavy ascetical practices that Carmel required, or resolve that, rather than presuming to impose great suffering upon herself (which she was aware can “quickly become a work of nature rather than grace”), she would instead in humility accept without complaint whatever suffering Jesus should send her. We never learn that she was later in charge of novices, or see her putting aside those harsh penances for her charges.

He does say it’s “sweet” and “inspirational,” but …

Realistically, hopes of Thérèse’s appeal reaching outside the believing world, or even outside the Catholic community, are unlikely to be realized. The film lacks the psychological depth and spiritual insight that attracts non-Catholics to Story of a Soul. But nominal or lapsed Catholics could be moved by its simple portrait of devotion and piety, and inspired to return to a more earnest practice of their faith.

So, what’s a filmmaker to do? Stop making movies about saints because you can’t please everyone? Certainly not, but in telling the stories of Catholicism’s most compelling figures, filmmakers have to tread a tricky path among biography, hagiography (an idealized, probably not entirely factual, biography) and evangelism. A saint’s chief purpose is to spread the Gospel, and one would think that any Catholic who makes a movie about one has the same aim.

But if the movie isn’t understandable to non-Catholics, or appealing to secular audiences, it won’t really do that (also, on a practical level, it won’t get wide distribution or make much money).

Hollywood is expert at taking morally questionable or plainly evil figures and making them seem heroic or attractive on film. We have to learn to do the same with the good people in our vast cloud of witnesses.

Speaking of which, here’s how Bishop Barron spoke of Saint Therese in the documentary miniseries “Catholicism”:

Image: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons/St. Luke Productions-Xenon Pictures

Visit the Family Theater Productions homepage and Facebook page to learn more about how FTP is reaching out to Hollywood and producing its own projects.