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Deck the Halls


Source: Catholic News Service

Yuletide comedy about an obsessively organized eye doctor (Matthew Broderick) whose regimental holiday zeal alienates his wife (Kristin Davis) and two kids (Alia Shawkat and Dylan Blue), and who meets his match when his new neighbor (Danny DeVito) challenges his reputation as the town's "king of Christmas" by decorating his own house with enough lights to be visible from outer space, prompting escalating attempts by the two men to outdo each other at the risk of losing what matters most to them, their families. Though brightly colored bulbs abound, the laughs are mostly low-wattage, as director John Whitesell decks his plot with clumsy slapstick and a few out-of-place off-color gags, but he ultimately proves that his heart is in the right place with an earnest endorsement of home, family and friendship. And while a secular view of Christmas dominates, things are brought to a predictably sentimental close that at least acknowledges in song the true meaning of the holiday. Some mildly crude language and humor, including a few suggestive images and a lightly irreverent sight gag, innuendo and an instance of profanity, limiting the film's suitability to older adolescents and up. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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James of the Marche: Meet one of the fathers of the modern pawnshop! 
<p>James was born in the Marche of Ancona, in central Italy along the Adriatic Sea. After earning doctorates in canon and civil law at the University of Perugia, he joined the Friars Minor and began a very austere life. He fasted nine months of the year; he slept three hours a night. St. Bernardine of Siena told him to moderate his penances. </p><p>James studied theology with St. John of Capistrano. Ordained in 1420, James began a preaching career that took him all over Italy and through 13 Central and Eastern European countries. This extremely popular preacher converted many people (250,000 at one estimate) and helped spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. His sermons prompted numerous Catholics to reform their lives and many men joined the Franciscans under his influence. </p><p>With John of Capistrano, Albert of Sarteano and Bernardine of Siena, James is considered one of the "four pillars" of the Observant movement among the Franciscans. These friars became known especially for their preaching. </p><p>To combat extremely high interest rates, James established <i>montes pietatis</i> (literally, mountains of charity)--nonprofit credit organizations that lent money at very low rates on pawned objects. </p><p>Not everyone was happy with the work James did. Twice assassins lost their nerve when they came face to face with him. James died in 1476 and was canonized in 1726.</p> American Catholic Blog Let us never tire of seeking the Lord—of letting ourselves be sought by him—of tending over our relationship with him in silence and prayerful listening. Let us keep our gaze fixed on him, the center of time and history; let us make room for his presence within us.


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