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Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez on The Way View Comments
By Jack Wintz, O.F.M.

Emilio Estevez, director of The Way, shares his ideas on shooting a scene with Martin Sheen, his father, who stars in the film.

IN EARLY OCTOBER, The Way, a haunting movie starring Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, opens in U.S. theaters. The film takes its viewers on the road to a very popular destination—the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain.

This world-famous cathedral—it is commonly believed—holds the remains of St. James the Greater, an apostle. Pilgrims hike here in large numbers and from long distances, often starting in France, to venerate this highly revered saint. For over 10 centuries, millions have come on pilgrimage to this great shrine along a variety of routes from all over Europe and beyond.

The Way received considerable attention when it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last October. Martin Sheen stars in the film. Emilio Estevez, his son, wrote, produced and directed the film—and acts in it, as well.

On July 15, during a joint interview, Estevez and Sheen shared many thoughts with St. Anthony Messenger at the Serra Retreat in Malibu, California. (The center is run by the Franciscan Friars of the St. Barbara Province.) Both Sheen and Estevez have homes in Malibu—not far from the retreat center—and visit the friars there from time to time.

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Jack Wintz, O.F.M., is senior editor of this publication and editor of Catholic Update. He is also author of Friar Jack’s Espirations, a free e-newsletter accessible at FriarJack.org.

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Philip Neri: Philip Neri was a sign of contradiction, combining popularity with piety against the background of a corrupt Rome and a disinterested clergy, the whole post-Renaissance malaise. 
<p>At an early age, he abandoned the chance to become a businessman, moved to Rome from Florence and devoted his life and individuality to God. After three years of philosophy and theology studies, he gave up any thought of ordination. The next 13 years were spent in a vocation unusual at the time—that of a layperson actively engaged in prayer and the apostolate. </p><p>As the Council of Trent (1545-63) was reforming the Church on a doctrinal level, Philip’s appealing personality was winning him friends from all levels of society, from beggars to cardinals. He rapidly gathered around himself a group of laypersons won over by his audacious spirituality. Initially they met as an informal prayer and discussion group, and also served poor people in Rome. </p><p>At the urging of his confessor, he was ordained a priest and soon became an outstanding confessor, gifted with the knack of piercing the pretenses and illusions of others, though always in a charitable manner and often with a joke. He arranged talks, discussions and prayers for his penitents in a room above the church. He sometimes led “excursions” to other churches, often with music and a picnic on the way. </p><p>Some of his followers became priests and lived together in community. This was the beginning of the Oratory, the religious institute he founded. A feature of their life was a daily afternoon service of four informal talks, with vernacular hymns and prayers. Giovanni Palestrina was one of Philip’s followers, and composed music for the services. </p><p>The Oratory was finally approved after suffering through a period of accusations of being an assembly of heretics, where laypersons preached and sang vernacular hymns! (Cardinal Newman founded the first English-speaking house of the Oratory three centuries later.) </p><p>Philip’s advice was sought by many of the prominent figures of his day. He is one of the influential figures of the Counter-Reformation, mainly for converting to personal holiness many of the influential people within the Church itself. His characteristic virtues were humility and gaiety.</p> American Catholic Blog We need do no more than we are doing at present; that is, to love divine Providence and abandon ourselves in his arms and heart.<br />—St. Padre Pio

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