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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Bella

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Sweetly sentimental story about an unmarried New York waitress (an especially fine Tammy Blanchard) who loses her job after becoming pregnant, and her restaurant's empathetic chef (Mexican soap favorite Eduardo Verastegui) -- an ex-soccer star whose career ended after his car fatally struck a child -- who gives the young woman emotional support, takes her to visit his loving family, and gently tries to persuade her to keep the baby. Director and co-writer Alejandro Monteverde's impressive feature film debut is sometimes dramatically slack and implausible, but the sensitive performances, positive depiction of the chef's warm Latino family and, most of all, its affirmative pro-life message -- along with themes of self-forgiveness, reconciliation and redemption -- should resonate with Catholic viewers. Partially subtitled. A couple of crass words, a child's death, a drug reference, and the out-of-wedlock theme aside, the film is admirably free of objectionable elements. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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Brother Juniper: "Would to God, my brothers, I had a whole forest of such Junipers," said Francis of this holy friar. 
<p>We don’t know much about Juniper before he joined the friars in 1210. Francis sent him to establish "places" for the friars in Gualdo Tadino and Viterbo. When St. Clare was dying, Juniper consoled her. He was devoted to the passion of Jesus and was known for his simplicity. </p><p>Several stories about Juniper in the <i>Little Flowers of St. Francis</i> illustrate his exasperating generosity. Once Juniper was taking care of a sick man who had a craving to eat pig’s feet. This helpful friar went to a nearby field, captured a pig and cut off one foot, and then served this meal to the sick man. The owner of the pig was furious and immediately went to Juniper’s superior. When Juniper saw his mistake, he apologized profusely. He also ended up talking this angry man into donating the rest of the pig to the friars! </p><p>Another time Juniper had been commanded to quit giving part of his clothing to the half-naked people he met on the road. Desiring to obey his superior, Juniper once told a man in need that he couldn’t give the man his tunic, but he wouldn’t prevent the man from taking it either. In time, the friars learned not to leave anything lying around, for Juniper would probably give it away. </p><p>He died in 1258 and is buried at Ara Coeli Church in Rome.</p> American Catholic Blog Is God in control of your life, or are you? Does He have your permission to take you where He wants to, or are you the control freak who wants Him in the car but won’t let Him steer?

 
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