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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Echoes of Innocence

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Well-intentioned, Christian-flavored teen "romantic thriller" about a high school senior (Sara Simmonds) who is obsessed with St. Joan of Arc and whose childhood vow to remain a virgin until she can marry her long-disappeared first love attracts the curiosity -- and eventually, affections -- of a reporter from the school paper (Jake McDorman), as well as the predatory interest of a menacingly mysterious student (Matt Vodvarka). Earnestly directed by Nathan Todd Sims, the film's positive portrayal of religious belief and admirable pro-chastity message is greatly handicapped by the uneven performances and clumsy story line, little of which makes sense. An implied teen sexual encounter and sexual thematic elements, minimal violence, scattered crude expressions, and a questionable -- but reverent -- treatment of the sacraments of penance and marriage, making it suitable for older adolescents and up. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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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 You cannot claim to be ‘for Christ’ and espouse a political cause that implies callous indifference to the needs of millions of human beings and even cooperate in their destruction.

 
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