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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Spirited Away

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Source: Catholic News Service

Fantastical, animated adventure about a young Japanese girl (voice of Daveigh Chase) who, separated from her parents, goes through a mysterious tunnel and enters a nightmarish world of spirits and bizarre mythical creatures where she must learn to trust strangers and look within herself to find strength and courage. Writer-director Hayao Miyazaki's imaginative Japanese story, part "Alice in Wonderland," part "Wizard of Oz," takes some getting used to and may be too menacing for the very young, although less so for older, pre-teen youngsters. Some frightening images. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested.



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Michael Giedroyc: A life of physical pain and mental torment didn’t prevent Michael Giedroyc from achieving holiness. 
<p>Born near Vilnius, Lithuania, Michael suffered from physical and permanent handicaps from birth. He was a dwarf who had the use of only one foot. Because of his delicate physical condition, his formal education was frequently interrupted. But over time, Michael showed special skills at metalwork. Working with bronze and silver, he created sacred vessels, including chalices.</p><p>He traveled to Kraków, Poland, where he joined the Augustinians. He received permission to live the life of a hermit in a cell adjoining the monastery. There Michael spent his days in prayer, fasted and abstained from all meat and lived to an old age. Though he knew the meaning of suffering throughout his years, his rich spiritual life brought him consolation. Michael’s long life ended in 1485 in Kraków.</p><p>Five hundred years later, Pope John Paul II visited the city and spoke to the faculty of the Pontifical Academy of Theology. The 15th century in Kraków, the pope said, was “the century of saints.” Among those he cited was Blessed Michael Giedroyc.</p> American Catholic Blog The French novelist Leon Bloy once said that there is only one tragedy in life: not to be a saint. It may be that God permits some suffering as the only way to wake someone from a dream of self-sufficiency and illusory happiness.

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