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Country Bears, The


Source: Catholic News Service

Silly musical comedy in which an 11-year-old bear (voiced by Haley Joel Osment) who was adopted by a human family, runs away to Tennessee to find more folks like himself and reunite his favorite band, the Country Bears, for a benefit concert that could save the legendary venue where the band got its start. Inspired by the Country Bears Jamboree attraction at Walt Disney World, director Peter Hastings' film has several amusing laughs with a predictable plot that is secondary to the energetic musical numbers, but the jocular manner in which a kidnapping subplot is presented may put off chaperoning parents. Some mild menace, but likely suitable for older children. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences.

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Francesco Antonio Fasani: Born in Lucera (southeast Italy), Francesco entered the Conventual Franciscans in 1695. After his ordination 10 years later, he taught philosophy to younger friars, served as guardian of his friary and later became provincial. When his term of office ended, Francesco became master of novices and finally pastor in his hometown. 
<p>In his various ministries, he was loving, devout and penitential. He was a sought-after confessor and preacher. One witness at the canonical hearings regarding Francesco’s holiness testified, "In his preaching he spoke in a familiar way, filled as he was with the love of God and neighbor; fired by the Spirit, he made use of the words and deed of Holy Scripture, stirring his listeners and moving them to do penance." Francesco showed himself a loyal friend of the poor, never hesitating to seek from benefactors what was needed. </p><p>At his death in Lucera, children ran through the streets and cried out, "The saint is dead! The saint is dead!" Francesco was canonized in 1986.</p> American Catholic Blog Even in the innocence and devotion of my dog, I see a reminder from heaven to stay simple and devout! I call our funny little canine “a smile from heaven” because God uses him to make us laugh every single day, no matter what else is going on in our lives. Everywhere I look, it seems that God is sending me coded messages.

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