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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

This Christmas

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Source: Catholic News Service

Spirited but somewhat pat family drama in which a well heeled African-American clan gathers for the holidays at the Los Angeles home of their mother (Loretta Devine) and her companion (Delroy Lindo) who then try to help the oldest daughter (Regina King) cope with her domineering husband (Laz Alonso) -- as well as with the tension between him and her younger sister (Sharon Leal) -- ignore the amorous antics of a third sister (Lauren London) and her visiting boyfriend (Keith Robinson), and attempt to convince the eldest son (Idris Elba) to quit his wandering ways, while two younger sons (Columbus Short and Chris Brown) struggle to find the courage to reveal their closely held secrets. Writer-director-producer Preston A. Whitmore II deftly interweaves the various elements of the plot while adding welcome strands of humor and music to produce, overall, a very pleasant tapestry. A scene of domestic violence, some sexual references and humor, some crude and crass language, implied nonmarital sex and cohabitation, themes of divorce and skimpy costuming. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.



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Augustine of Canterbury: In the year 596, some 40 monks set out from Rome to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. Leading the group was Augustine, the prior of their monastery in Rome. Hardly had he and his men reached Gaul (France) when they heard stories of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons and of the treacherous waters of the English Channel. Augustine returned to Rome and to the pope who had sent them—St. Gregory the Great (September 3 )—only to be assured by him that their fears were groundless. 
<p>Augustine again set out. This time the group crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent, ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian, Bertha. Ethelbert received them kindly, set up a residence for them in Canterbury and within the year, on Pentecost Sunday, 597, was himself baptized. After being consecrated a bishop in France, Augustine returned to Canterbury, where he founded his see. He constructed a church and monastery near where the present cathedral, begun in 1070, now stands. As the faith spread, additional sees were established at London and Rochester. </p><p>Work was sometimes slow and Augustine did not always meet with success. Attempts to reconcile the Anglo-Saxon Christians with the original Briton Christians (who had been driven into western England by Anglo-Saxon invaders) ended in dismal failure. Augustine failed to convince the Britons to give up certain Celtic customs at variance with Rome and to forget their bitterness, helping him evangelize their Anglo-Saxon conquerors </p><p>Laboring patiently, Augustine wisely heeded the missionary principles—quite enlightened for the times—suggested by Pope Gregory the Great: purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs; let pagan rites and festivals be transformed into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible. The limited success Augustine achieved in England before his death in 605, a short eight years after he arrived in England, would eventually bear fruit long after in the conversion of England. Augustine of Canterbury can truly be called the “Apostle of England.”</p> American Catholic Blog A hero isn’t someone born with unconquerable strength and selflessness. Heroes are not formed in a cataclysmic instant. Heroism is developed over time, one decision after another, moment by moment, formed by a deliberate, chosen, and habitual response to life.

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