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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Final Season, The

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Low-key but good-hearted sports drama in which a new high school baseball coach (Sean Astin) tries to extend the winning streak established by his formidable predecessor (Powers Boothe) even as his small town's citizens battle over their school's future, meanwhile romancing a state education official (Rachael Leigh Cook) and having a positive influence on a troubled team member (Michael Angarano) who has been sent to live with his grandparents (James Gammon and Angela Paton) by his widowed, workaholic father (Tom Arnold). Director David Mickey Evans' film, based on true events, is as much an examination of contemporary challenges to small-town America as a celebration of baseball, and it works competently in both capacities. Occasional crude and some crass language, underage smoking, and drug and underage drinking references. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. 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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