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Callas Forever

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Fictitious but true-in-spirit story of self-obsessed opera diva Maria Callas' lonely last years in Paris after she had lost her voice, wherein a gay former manager (Jeremy Irons) persuades her she can have a second career by making film versions of her most notable operas while lip-syncing to her old recordings. French accent notwithstanding, Fanny Ardant succeeds to a remarkable degree in capturing the Greek-American soprano's temperament and physical appearance, while director Franco Zeffirelli -- a close friend and colleague of Callas -- directs with the expected authority and brings special flair to the "Carmen" sequences, though the specialized subject matter will be of most interest to Callas fans and opera buffs. A few instances of rough and crude language and a couple of mild sexual situations. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.

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Leopold Mandic: Western Christians who are working for greater dialogue with Orthodox Christians may be reaping the fruits of Father Leopold’s prayers.
<p>A native of Croatia, Leopold joined the Capuchin Franciscans and was ordained several years later in spite of several health problems. He could not speak loudly enough to preach publicly. For many years he also suffered from severe arthritis, poor eyesight and a stomach ailment.
</p><p>Leopold taught patrology, the study of the Church Fathers, to the clerics of his province for several years, but he is best known for his work in the confessional, where he sometimes spent 13-15 hours a day. Several bishops sought out his spiritual advice.
</p><p>Leopold’s dream was to go to the Orthodox Christians and work for the reunion of Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. His health never permitted it. Leopold often renewed his vow to go to the Eastern Christians; the cause of unity was constantly in his prayers.
</p><p>At a time when Pope Pius XII said that the greatest sin of our time is "to have lost all sense of sin," Leopold had a profound sense of sin and an even firmer sense of God’s grace awaiting human cooperation.
</p><p>Leopold, who lived most of his life in Padua, died on July 30, 1942, and was canonized in 1982.</p> American Catholic Blog Heavenly Father, give me the grace to be grateful and to use my gifts and talents to show your love to others so that when they see me, they recognize you living in me and loving them through me. I ask this in Jesus's name, Amen.

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