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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Good Shepherd, The

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Austere but generally absorbing over-the-years saga of a fictitious CIA man (a quietly intense Matt Damon) tracing his life from initiation into the secretive Yale Skull and Bones fraternity; his unhappy marriage to a classmate's sister (Angelina Jolie); his recruitment into the Office of Strategic Services during World War II; his role in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion during John F. Kennedy's administration; and his poignant relationship with the son (Eddie Redmayne) with whom he could never be close. Robert De Niro (who plays a small part here) directs the fact-based film with a sure hand, and though the plot has some holes effectively demonstrates the emotional consequences of its protagonist's overly secretive life and the tragedy of sacrificing one's humanity for misplaced ideals. Adultery and premarital sex, a shadowy sexual encounter, innuendo, a predatory gay character, a couple of cold-blooded murders and other spy-related dirty doings, suicides, marital discord, partial nudity, drug use, a few expletives and racial epithets. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.



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Sharbel Makhluf: Although this saint never traveled far from the Lebanese village of Beka-Kafra, where he was born, his influence has spread widely. 
<p>Joseph Zaroun Makluf was raised by an uncle because his father, a mule driver, died when Joseph was only three. At the age of 23, Joseph joined the Monastery of St. Maron at Annaya, Lebanon, and took the name Sharbel in honor of a second-century martyr. He professed his final vows in 1853 and was ordained six years later. </p><p>Following the example of the fifth-century St. Maron, Sharbel lived as a hermit from 1875 until his death. His reputation for holiness prompted people to seek him to receive a blessing and to be remembered in his prayers. He followed a strict fast and was very devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. When his superiors occasionally asked him to administer the sacraments to nearby villages, Sharbel did so gladly. </p><p>He died in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve. Christians and non-Christians soon made his tomb a place of pilgrimage and of cures. Pope Paul VI beatified him in 1965 and canonized him 12 years later.</p> American Catholic Blog Bluntly put, children are amateur and immature observers. In the short term, they aren’t always attracted to even the best of examples. Only as they move beyond childhood do they come to fully appreciate and emulate their parents’ ways. Much of good parenting doesn’t make its mark until years later.

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