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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Towelhead

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Sensitively handled if extremely disquieting coming-of-age story of an alienated 13-year-old Arab-American girl (played by 18-year-old Summer Bishil) living with her divorced Lebanese father (Peter Macdissi) in Texas, who succumbs to a pedophiliac Army reservist (Aaron Eckhart) whose son she baby-sits, until an empathetic neighbor (Toni Collette) interferes. Writer-director Alan Ball's astute adaptation of Alicia Erian's novel is a sober-minded exploration of racism, politics and sexual confusion, impeccably acted by all, including Maria Bello as the father's ex-wife. Its weighty subjects are presented with requisite gravity and touching compassion for its flawed characters, but its redemptive ending involves an implicit endorsement of adolescent sexual activity. Strong sexual content including central pedophilia theme, upper female nudity, rough language and brief profanity, and strong domestic violence. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Gregory Grassi and Companions: Christian missionaries have often gotten caught in the crossfire of wars against their own countries. When the governments of Britain, Germany, Russia and France forced substantial territorial concessions from the Chinese in 1898, anti-foreign sentiment grew very strong among many Chinese people. 
<p>Gregory Grassi was born in Italy in 1833, ordained in 1856 and sent to China five years later. Gregory was later ordained Bishop of North Shanxi. With 14 other European missionaries and 14 Chinese religious, he was martyred during the short but bloody Boxer Uprising of 1900. </p><p>Twenty-six of these martyrs were arrested on the orders of Yu Hsien, the governor of Shanxi province. They were hacked to death on July 9, 1900. Five of them were Friars Minor; seven were Franciscan Missionaries of Mary — the first martyrs of their congregation. Seven were Chinese seminarians and Secular Franciscans; four martyrs were Chinese laymen and Secular Franciscans. The other three Chinese laymen killed in Shanxi simply worked for the Franciscans and were rounded up with all the others. Three Italian Franciscans were martyred that same week in the province of Hunan. All these martyrs were beatified in 1946 and were among teh 120 martyrs canonized in 2000.</p> American Catholic Blog It is through the Eucharist that Jesus gives us his Body to eat and his Blood to drink, so that we can dwell in him and he in us. Jesus came to lead us into oneness with him and to help us live a life of oneness with others.

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