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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Journey to the Center of the Earth

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Source: Catholic News Service

Enjoyable update of Jules Verne's classic 1864 novel with a present-day geology research professor (Brendan Fraser), his late explorer brother's son (Josh Hutcherson) and their Icelandic guide (Anita Briem) finding themselves deep below the earth's surface, reliving most of the incidents from the book. Though not as memorable as the Hollywood 1959 version, this retread, from director Eric Brevig, provides plenty of nifty special effects – which are especially effective in the 3-D presentation used in some theaters – and together with personable leads and squeaky clean content make this wholesome family viewing for all but the very youngest viewers who might be frightened by some of the intense, though bloodless, action sequences. 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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Augustine of Canterbury: In the year 596, some 40 monks set out from Rome to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. Leading the group was Augustine, the prior of their monastery in Rome. Hardly had he and his men reached Gaul (France) when they heard stories of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons and of the treacherous waters of the English Channel. Augustine returned to Rome and to the pope who had sent them—St. Gregory the Great (September 3 )—only to be assured by him that their fears were groundless. 
<p>Augustine again set out. This time the group crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent, ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian, Bertha. Ethelbert received them kindly, set up a residence for them in Canterbury and within the year, on Pentecost Sunday, 597, was himself baptized. After being consecrated a bishop in France, Augustine returned to Canterbury, where he founded his see. He constructed a church and monastery near where the present cathedral, begun in 1070, now stands. As the faith spread, additional sees were established at London and Rochester. </p><p>Work was sometimes slow and Augustine did not always meet with success. Attempts to reconcile the Anglo-Saxon Christians with the original Briton Christians (who had been driven into western England by Anglo-Saxon invaders) ended in dismal failure. Augustine failed to convince the Britons to give up certain Celtic customs at variance with Rome and to forget their bitterness, helping him evangelize their Anglo-Saxon conquerors </p><p>Laboring patiently, Augustine wisely heeded the missionary principles—quite enlightened for the times—suggested by Pope Gregory the Great: purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs; let pagan rites and festivals be transformed into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible. The limited success Augustine achieved in England before his death in 605, a short eight years after he arrived in England, would eventually bear fruit long after in the conversion of England. Augustine of Canterbury can truly be called the “Apostle of England.”</p> American Catholic Blog A hero isn’t someone born with unconquerable strength and selflessness. Heroes are not formed in a cataclysmic instant. Heroism is developed over time, one decision after another, moment by moment, formed by a deliberate, chosen, and habitual response to life.

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