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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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Visitation: This is a fairly late feast, going back only to the 13th or 14th century. It was established widely throughout the Church to pray for unity. The present date of celebration was set in 1969 in order to follow the Annunciation of the Lord (March 25) and precede the Nativity of John the Baptist (June 24). 
<p>Like most feasts of Mary, it is closely connected with Jesus and his saving work. The more visible actors in the visitation drama (see Luke 1:39-45) are Mary and Elizabeth. However, Jesus and John the Baptist steal the scene in a hidden way. Jesus makes John leap with joy—the joy of messianic salvation. Elizabeth, in turn, is filled with the Holy Spirit and addresses words of praise to Mary—words that echo down through the ages. </p><p>It is helpful to recall that we do not have a journalist’s account of this meeting. Rather, Luke, speaking for the Church, gives a prayerful poet’s rendition of the scene. Elizabeth’s praise of Mary as “the mother of my Lord” can be viewed as the earliest Church’s devotion to Mary. As with all authentic devotion to Mary, Elizabeth’s (the Church’s) words first praise God for what God has done to Mary. Only secondly does she praise Mary for trusting God’s words. </p><p>Then comes the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). Here Mary herself (like the Church) traces all her greatness to God.</p> American Catholic Blog Someone once told Pope Francis that his words had inspired him to give a lot more to the poor. Pope Francis’s response was to challenge the man not to just give money, but to roll up his sleeves, get his hands dirty, and actually reach out and help.

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