Archive for the ‘Movies’ category

For Greater Glory

June 1, 2012

STARTS TODAY in Moosic and Dickson City

“Enthusiastically” recommended by Abp Chaput

Read the historical background for the movie


Scranton priest mentioned on Catholic radio

January 7, 2011

Msgr John Esseff

Brian Patrick interviewed Patti Armstrong on the Son Rise Morning Show today between 7:30 and 7:45 (heard on our local Catholic radio station).  The discussion centered on a new movie (with which I am not familiar) about exorcism.  During the interview, she was highly complimentary of Scranton’s own Msgr John Esseff, and referred to him multiple times.  Apparently, she used him as a resource for an article she’s writing about this movie.  She said the article should appear on her website next week.  She related that Msgr Esseff told her that, in his 53 years involved with exorcism and investigating situations allegedly demonic, he has encountered only two cases that he considered to be actual demonic possession.  Many others involved lesser, but still serious, degrees of oppression, infestation, etc.

I’ll try to remember to pass along an update when Patti’s article is available.

Date Night suggestion

March 27, 2010

I would not normally suggest going to a movie during Holy Week, but my daughter informed me that the FM Kirby Center in Wilkes Barre is having two special showings of the movie “Bright Star” on Wednesday, March 31st.  Unfortunately, this movie never made it to regular cinema circulation — the good ones rarely do!  If your wife (or daughter) enjoys romantic movies, she would probably enjoy this one.  Here is Deal Hudson’s review.

Motivational words for a new year

January 1, 2010

Near the end of the final movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Aragorn discerns the need to distract the Eye of Sauron from Frodo and Sam, in order for them to complete the last stage of their journey up Mount Doom.  He determines that engaging the army of Mordor in battle will provide a diversion which will both distract the Eye of Sauron and keep the forces of Mordor preoccupied and thus unavailable to hinder the efforts of the two Hobbits.  As the multitudinous army of Mordor assembles outside the Black Gate for the battle, it completely encircles Aragorn and his relatively small band of warriors.  In the face of the overwhelming strength of the dark forces, and knowing full well that the sacrifice they are about to make will result in their certain death, Aragorn motivates his followers to courageously engage the enemy with these words:

Sons of Gondor! Of Rohan! My brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the Age of Men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!

Movies, demons, and the Catholic Church

July 8, 2009

This past weekend I was thinking about how so many different people and organizations try to demonize the Catholic church.  And in a free association kind of way, I thought about movies which portray demons.  And I realized something interesting.  In the movies, when the devil comes to town it is always the Catholic Church that stands as the principle vehicle of opposition.  I read somewhere that in the extended DVD version of the Exorcist, there is a discussion of the actual Exorcism the book and movie was based upon.  Apparently the family was not Catholic, and had called their Baptist Pastor to come deal with this.  And when he saw the magnitude of the possession, he said “You have to call someone in a Roman Collar — this is way out of my league.”

Family entertainment…that teaches!

February 9, 2009

A few weeks ago I saw the end of an old movie called “Twelve Angry Men.”  It is wonderful story of a jury that has voted 11 to 1 in favor of the conviction of a man for a serious crime.  Just one man holds out……at first!  He continues to call for calm examination and reflection.  Because of his character and courage he is able to eventually lead the entire jury to see the truth.  This juror has to undergo tremendous opposition and hostility, yet he remained committed to his conscience and the search for truth.  I would highly recommend this film for a family night movie.  It would be a great teaching tool for us all — especially children and young people — to stand firm in the face of injustice and opposition.


Can you recommend other movies that would be worthwhile for family movie nights?

An Eyewitness Account of the March for Life 2009

January 25, 2009

“Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to Him.  He appointed Twelve, who He also named Apostles, that they might be with Him and He might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.”  (Mark 3:13-19)


I attended the March for Life in Washington D.C. on January 22, 2009.  Prior to the March there was a rally on the Washington Mall.  By noon of that day, I found myself standing amidst hundreds of thousands of people.  I have no doubt more people attended the March for Life 2009 than the number who attended the civil rights rally in 1963 where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream Speech “


As Divine Providence would have it, I found myself standing next to a tall older man.  I could see a roman collar under his top coat. I tried not to stare at him. I kept looking over because he looked familiar.


After about fifteen minutes he turned toward me, talking to someone else.  It was then I realized that I saw the pectoral cross chain across his chest which marked him as a Roman Catholic Bishop, a successor of the Apostles.  I also noticed that he was wearing a Pittsburgh Steeler baseball cap! I then knew that I was standing next to Bishop David Zubik, the Bishop of Pittsburgh.


I introduced myself to him and let him know how much I appreciated his support of the Catholic Men’s Fellowship in Pittsburgh.  I had attended the Pittsburgh Catholic Men’s Conference in April of 2008, and was so inspired by the experience of 2000 Catholic men and Bishop Zubik coming together in the name of Jesus that I asked Bishop Joseph Martino if he wanted me to help start a Catholic Men’s Fellowship in the Scranton Diocese.  Bishop Martino responded in the affirmative last May, and he promptly appointed Fr. Leo McKernan to be our Chaplain.  So far thirty Catholic men in the Diocese have come together to be part of the Guardian of the Redeemer Catholic Men’s Fellowship of the Diocese of Scranton.


The need for Catholic men to join together in answering the call to holiness and mission has never been more urgent.  In his public statements and actions, President Obama has confirmed his intention to become the “abortion president”.  One of his first acts in office was to rescind President Reagan’s “Mexico City Policy” which denies taxpayer money to organizations that promote or perform abortion overseas.  The President has authorized millions of dollars of US funds to finance the killing of unborn children throughout the world.  It is only the beginning of Obama’s plan to expand the culture of death in America.  See the Obama administration’s website for details.


The words of the Prophet Isaiah have become again relevant and could have been directed to our nation.  “Therefore hear the word of the Lord you arrogant, who rule this people in Jerusalem (Washington D.C.). Because you say “We have made a covenant with death and with the nether world we have made a pact. For we have made lies our refuge and in falsehood we have found a hiding place.” Therefore says the Lord God, see, I am laying a stone in Zion, a stone that has been tested. A precious cornerstone as a sure foundation, he who puts his faith in it shall not be shaken. I will make of right a measuring line of justice a level.”  (Isaiah 28:14-17)


Judah did not heed the words of the Prophet and was eventually destroyed by its enemies. We have enemies today that want to destroy our country and way of life. I do not see how God will protect us from our enemies when we as Americans tolerate and/or cooperate in the killing of 4000 children everyday. Since abortion became legal in 1973 approximately 50 million unborn babies have been sacrificed on the altar of ‘choice’ to many false gods named convenience, fear, wealth, and career, which are various disguises of the demonic spirits which prowl the world seeking to devour God’s children.


On the bus to Washington D.C., we viewed the film “The Silent Scream” produced by Dr. Bernard Nathanson. He is a Catholic convert who was a abortionist. He was able to obtain actual footage of an abortion from the outside of the womb through ultrasound technology from the inside of the womb.


It is a most distressing film. During the abortion, the woman had to place her feet on stirrups and the abortionist, went to work using various instruments in the abortion procedure. It occurred to me that an abortion can be best described as the “medical” rape of a woman.


More distressing was the reaction of the unborn baby (12 weeks from conception) in the womb as the instruments of death were inserted. She tried to move away from the instruments that would soon tear her apart but could not get away. Finally she began to be dismembered and you could see her little mouth open in a silent scream. This film is available on YouTube. Every American should watch it.


This happens 4000 times a day in America. I believe that all Americans are implicated in this evil whether or not we voted for Obama in the last election.


On the way home we viewed the “Assisi Underground,” a movie that told the true story of the efforts of the people of the town of Assisi, in Italy, led by their Bishop and a Franciscan Friar, to hide Italian Jews from the Nazis who intended to round them up for placement in death camps. Some Italian citizens cooperated with the Nazis and some characters in the German army identified themselves as Catholics. One German officer who was Catholic was used as an instrument by God to protect the Jews who were hidden in Monasteries and Convents.


The conflict of good and evil is being replayed today in this country over the abortion holocaust. It made me think about the adequacy of my personal response to this evil. We do not have to think about whose side we would have been on in Assisi during World War II. We need to reflect upon whose side we are on in our national conflict over abortion.  Judging by the huge number of casualties, it does not look like many Americans are friends of unborn children. We have made lies our refuge, and in falsehood we have found a hiding place. Ora pro nobis, beate Ioseph !