Film Can Aid the New Evangelization, Head of Vatican’s Council for Culture Says

Third annual Mirabile Dictu International Catholic Film Festival held in Rome.

Andy Garcia won the 'Silver Fish' award for his portrayal of the leader of the Cristero army in For Greater Glory.
Andy Garcia won the 'Silver Fish' award for his portrayal of the leader of the Cristero army in For Greater Glory. (photo:

VATICAN CITY — At the recent International Catholic Film Festival’s award ceremony in Rome, the head of the Vatican’s Council for Culture said movies can aid the task of evangelizing modern society.

At the July 5 awards event at the Vatican Museum’s Octagon Patio, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi noted that films are especially important for telling the world about Catholicism.

Catholics “have a great tradition behind us that represents the Christian faith and the themes and symbols of the biblical narratives — and also because they are one of the new means of communication,” he said.

“In one sense, a movie can seem like a biblical passage, which is made up of images and narration,” the cardinal said, adding that films capture in images what Scripture captures in symbols and narration.

“For this reason, there is a kind of solidarity between these means of communication which are distinct, with the written word on the one hand and the image on the other.”

During the event, the film organization selected actor Andy Garcia to receive its “Silver Fish” award for his portrayal of Gen. Enrique Gorostieta in the film For Greater Glory.

The award for best director was given to Spanish director Inmaculada Hoces for her film Una Canción. Antonio Cuadri, another Spanish director, was given the Capax Dei Foundation Award for his film Hay Mucha Gente Buena.

The “Best Picture” award went to the French film The Churchmen, directed by Rodolphe Tissot. “Best Short Film” went to the Israeli film On the Road to Tel Aviv, and “Best Documentary” went to the film Seeking the Seven Keys of Antonio Gaudi by Italian director Massimiliano Manservigi.

The “Best Film for Young Audiences,” awarded by a jury of youths, went to The War of the Vendee, a feature from Navis Pictures about religious persecution by the authors of the French Revolution’s “Reign of Terror.”

Lastly, the “Lifetime Achievement” award was given to French actor and director Robert Hossein.

Organizers of the International Catholic Film Festival plan to hold events on evangelization through film in Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles and other cities in 2013.

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.