New "Hobbit" Movie Trailer

It shouldn't come as any surprise to those familiar with J.R.R. Tolkien's works that they are imbued with Catholicism. An ardent Catholic himself, Tolkien has fashioned a world and stories that are not strictly allegorical but emerge from a thoroughly Catholic imagination and prayer life. Christ can be found everywhere. Like a stained glass window shattered into pieces, every character is a shard and every shard an aspect of the whole Christ. Those in love with the stories, whether in their original written form or cinematic interpretations, should be pleased that the new trailer is out for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Check it out here.


Catholicism on TODAY

Amazing that TODAY would cover the wonderfully made "Catholicism" series by Fr. Barron, but they get their digs in, emphasizing the Church's "rules" and mentioning the "child abuse" by priests. Despite this, Fr. Barron and filmmaker Mike Leonard give a good face to conversion and the Church. The parish owns copies of this phenemonal series on DVD; we will be showing it publicly with discussion in the New Year, but it can also be checked out from the parish office. 


Is Siri Pro-Life?

It may be a glitch, deliberate pro-life activism, or the Lord working in mysterious ways but the Siri ap on the new Apple phone won't lead people to abortion killing centers when asked for their locations but is taking them to crisis pregnancy centers. You can read the whole article here, but it's interesting that even soulless technology may be more pro-life than many living and breathing human beings.

It also serves as a reminder this Advent to contemplate our role in evangelizing and in supporting pregnant mothers in difficult circumstances. Is there something we could do this Advent to raise awareness about local crisis pregnancy centers like EPS, A Woman's Touch, and Gabriel's Corner or to support them with our time or treasure? How can we help these women to continue to choose life for their children?  


God and the Detectives

In the latest issue of Books and Culture, Joseph Bottum has one of the most comprehensive reviews of mystery novels and Christianity that you’ll ever find:

Some things have changed over the years, of course: the uses of technology, the openness about sex, and, notably, the treatment of religion. Where a kind of delicate deference once ruled, popular fiction now seems typically to present churchgoing characters as suspects—thanks, as near as I can tell, to the notion that devotion is pretty suspicious, all by itself, and what’s a little homicide on top of religious mania? The quantity of casual anti-Christianity in contemporary mysteries and thrillers is more than a little disturbing, their pages full of duplicitous televangelists, fundamentalist cult leaders, and serial killers enacting complex Catholic rituals. Pick up Henning Mankell’s Before the Frost for a good example: a 2005 book that essentially equates all religion with the Jonestown suicides, from a Swedish writer whose worldwide sales are now over thirty million. (One dreads the novelistic uses to which the news from Norway will be put.) When in doubt about the murderer in an old Agatha Christie story, always guess that it’s the doctor. And when in doubt about the murderer in a recent mystery novel, always guess that it’s the Christian.

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