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Woody’s Final Roundup (11564)

Movie Review: Toy Story 3 Ends the Beloved Series in Grand Style

06/17/2010 Comments (19)

TOP TOY. The third chapter of the Toy Story series gives Woody the chance to be a true-to-self hero.

– Pixar

“Reach for the sky.”

That’s how it all began, 15 years ago: A laconic, drawling challenge from an intrepid pull-string sheriff in a tense bedroom standoff with a tuberous one-eyed desperado. There was swagger and panache in this self-assured proclamation that a new power had entered the fray, that the rules of the game had changed.

From Day One, John Lasseter and Co. reached for the sky. Their heads were in the clouds from the get-go — from the first shot, in fact. Toy Story wasn’t just the first fully computer-animated feature-length film. It was practically a manifesto: The industry was on notice.

Coming in the early days of decline of the Disney renaissance formulas, Toy Story broke...READ MORE

Filed under movies, sequels

'Saint Sarah' Misses the Point (33843)

Newsweek Cover Story Is a Caricature of Christianity

06/17/2010 Comments (31)
CNS photo

Republican vice-presidential candidate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin holds 6-month-old son Trig onstage after her address at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

– CNS photo

You’d think she were one of the mysteries of our faith, all the writing that has gone into trying to grapple with the political career and attraction to and hatred for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

In the case of the recent Newsweek cover portraying Palin as “Saint Sarah” — in a backhanded canonization not quite the same as the Vatican approach — the quandary isn’t all that mysterious. The Newsweek story, written by a writer who fashions herself as an expert on religion, once again has the magazine betraying an ignorant caricature of Christianity in its newsroom.

Take, for instance: “Many Christian women loathe Palin, of course, and many men love her, but a certain kind of...READ MORE

Filed under barack obama, catholic, christian, politics, u.s. politics

From Academia to the Chancery (2389)

Bishop-Elect David O’Connell Speaks of Challenges in New Role

06/16/2010 Comments (1)
2008 CNS photo/Bob Roller

Pope Benedict XVI has named Vincentian Father David M. O'Connell, outgoing president of The Catholic University of America, coadjutor bishop of Trenton, N.J. The appointment was announced in Washington June 4 by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

– 2008 CNS photo/Bob Roller

Bishop-elect David O’Connell had plans to take a sabbatical after he handed off the reins as president of Catholic University of America to his successor, John Garvey, the former dean of Boston College Law School.

But his plans changed after the Vincentian priest was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to be the coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Trenton. The current bishop there, Bishop John Smith, turns 75 — the mandatory retirement age for bishops — on June 23.

Register correspondent Carlos Briceño interviewed Bishop-elect O’Connell, 55, shortly after the announcement. 

Where were you when you heard the news, and what was your reaction?

I was driving in a car to interview [a potential...READ MORE

Filed under bishop david o'connell, diocese of trenton, the catholic university of america

John Paul II's 1979 'Novena' (5863)

Newt Gingrich's 'Nine Days That Changed the World'

06/16/2010 Comments (3)
CNS photo

Pope John Paul II celebrates Mass at Victory Square in Warsaw in June 1979 during his first trip to Poland as pope.

– CNS photo

VATICAN CITY — Nine Days That Changed the World, a new movie produced by recent Catholic convert Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, is a compelling biopic of Pope John Paul II, powerfully showing the importance and relevance of the Catholic faith to freedom and democracy.

The movie focuses on John Paul’s historic visit to Poland on June 2-10, 1979, a pilgrimage that transformed Poland and which some historians say ultimately reshaped the spiritual and political landscape of the 20th century.

Drawing on interviews with a host of well-known experts and world leaders, including the leader of Poland’s Solidarity movement, Lech Walesa, former Czech President Vaclav Havel, and John Paul...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, catholic church, communism, newt gingrich, pope john paul ii, vatican

Obama Administration Eases Ban on Funds for Sex-Trafficking Groups (9696)

06/15/2010 Comments (5)
REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel (ROMANIA)

Anca, a former Romanian sex slave, hides her face behind a poster in Bucharest in this Dec. 1, 2006 file picture. Every year, thousands of women like Anca, some as young as 13, are kidnapped or lured by promises of well paying jobs or marriage and sold to gangs who lock them up in night clubs and brothels or force them to work on the streets.

– REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel (ROMANIA)

WASHINGTON — A new regulatory rule that went into effect May 13 modified a policy of President George W. Bush that barred U.S. international aid for organizations that supported either prostitution or sex trafficking.

The new rule does not drop the funding restrictions, which are required by federal law, but the change allows “affiliated entities” — including a separate part of the organization receiving federal funds — to conduct actions in support of prostitution or sex trafficking.

Anti-human trafficking leaders in Congress and some feminists are concerned about the new Obama administration rule.

“Prostitution and sex trafficking are degrading to women and minors, and we should not...READ MORE

Filed under barack obama, sex trafficking, slavery

Off to Ireland (2177)

Archbishop Collins on Cynicism, Pope Benedict, and Priestly Holiness

06/14/2010 Comment
CNS photo/Archdiocese of Toronto

Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto has been named by Pope Benedict XVI to lead the visitation of the Archdiocese of Cashel, Ireland. Archbishop Collins is pictured in a 2006 photo.

– CNS photo/Archdiocese of Toronto

Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto is one of nine Church leaders named by the Holy See as “visitors” to Irish dioceses. Along with Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston and Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, they are charged with reporting on their response to the sexual-abuse scandal. Archbishop Collins will be visiting the Irish Diocese of Cashel.

Register correspondent Steve Weatherbe, who recently interviewed another member of the team, Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, spoke with Archbishop Collins by phone on June 11.

What is your assignment?

I think from the very preliminary information, at this very early stage, that we want to look and see what has happened, and what we...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic visitation of ireland, archbishop thomas collins, clerical sexual abuse scandal, diocese of cashel, ireland, pope benedict xvi

Tattoos and Salvation (7122)

Arts & Letters: Flannery O’Connor’s Last Story

06/12/2010 Comments (1)

“When people have told me that because I am a Catholic, I cannot be an artist, I have had to reply, ruefully, that because I am a Catholic I cannot afford to be less than an artist.”

Flannery O’Connor, considered by many as one of the great writers of the 20th century, crafted stories that had stunning, almost sacramental impact. Plotlines were only the point of entry. Filled with laugh-out-loud humor, surprise and, at times, shocking violence, they reward thoughtful reading and provide a catapult into a deeper world of faith and spiritual reflection.

When O’Connor died of complications from lupus in 1964, she was only 39 and had written 31 stories and two novels. She worked almost to the...READ MORE

Filed under arts and letters, flannery o'connor, marriage, tattoos

Drawing the Sacred Heart (8564)

Seattle Artist Uses Her Talent to Showcase the Saints

06/11/2010 Comments (3)
Tracy Christianson

HOLY ART. Tracy Christianson's color-pencil portraits are striking images of Christ, including the Sacred Heart (feast day June 11 this year), Mary (and her Immaculate Heart, the feast which is June 12; see below) and the saints.

– Tracy Christianson

Despite what other people think, Tracy Christianson insists that she is not a painter. 

It’s not that she refuses to acknowledge her God-given talent, but that her portraits are pencil drawings, not paintings.

“People are usually surprised to find out that my portraits are drawn with [Prismacolor brand] colored pencils,” says the Seattle artist. “Most people think they are either painted or pastels. I like the pencils because they allow me to get very detailed. I can blend the colors very well, and this gives them more of a smooth, painted look.”

Anita Morgan, owner of Alleluia Catholic Store, with two locations in the greater Seattle area, sees firsthand the surprise of customers...READ MORE

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