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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Love's Abiding Joy

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Fourth installment in the "Love Comes Softly" series where pioneer rancher couple (Erin Cottrell and Logan Bartholomew), circa 1885, cope with financial hardships and the sudden loss of their child. The villainous mayor (John Laughlin) makes the husband the sheriff but only to manipulate him for his dastardly purposes, while thwarting the budding romance between his own daughter (Mae Whitman) and the sheriff's adopted son (Drew Tyler Bell). Michael Landon Jr. directs the leisurely tale capably; the production design, cinematography and musical score are assets, but the script and performances are bland and often anachronistically contemporary, while the faith elements, though admirable, are heavy-handed. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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Oliver Plunkett: The name of today's saint is especially familiar to the Irish and the English—and with good reason. The English martyred Oliver Plunkett for defending the faith in his native Ireland during a period of severe persecution. 
<p>Born in County Meath in 1629, he studied for the priesthood in Rome and was ordained there in 1654. After some years of teaching and service to the poor of Rome he was appointed Archbishop of Armagh in Ireland. Four years later, in 1673, a new wave of anti-Catholic persecution began, forcing Archbishop Plunkett to do his pastoral work in secrecy and disguise and to live in hiding. Meanwhile, many of his priests were sent into exile; schools were closed; Church services had to be held in secret and convents and seminaries were suppressed. As archbishop, he was viewed as ultimately responsible for any rebellion or political activity among his parishioners. 
</p><p>Archbishop Plunkett was arrested and imprisoned in Dublin Castle in 1679, but his trial was moved to London. After deliberating for 15 minutes, a jury found him guilty of fomenting revolt. He was hanged, drawn and quartered in July 1681. 
</p><p>Pope Paul VI canonized Oliver Plunkett in 1975.</p> American Catholic Blog God had a plan even before he created Adam and Eve. God is never caught off guard. He knows all. He sees all. And he is working all things together for the good of his children. Nothing can stop his plan of mercy and love.

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