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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Up and Down

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Absorbing kaleidoscopic interweaving of several plot strands which combine to create a vivid picture of the present-day, post-communist Czech Republic: black-market smugglers who inadvertently steal a baby; a likable but loutish ex-soccer hooligan now on probation (Jiri Machacek) whose partner (Natasa Burger) is obsessed with having a child and "buys" the infant; and a seriously ill college professor (Jan Triska) who, after many years, summons both his grown son (Petr Forman) from Australia and his long-separated wife (Emilia Vasaryova) to meet the woman (Ingrid Timkova) he's been living with for many years -- and by whom he sired a child -- and hopes to marry. Jan Hrebejk's film, shot in actual Prague apartments and streets, brilliantly deals with heavy-duty issues like cultural assimilation, national identity, love and hate, and the effects of globalization in an entertaining Altmanesque way, and ties the disparate story elements together neatly by the conclusion. Rough, profane and crude language, racial epithets, a brief but sordid sexual situation, a short scene of violence with some blood. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.

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Josephine Bakhita: For many years, Josephine Bakhita was a slave but her spirit was always free and eventually that spirit prevailed. 
<p>Born in Olgossa in the Darfur region of southern Sudan, Josephine was kidnapped at the age of seven, sold into slavery and given the name Bakhita, which means <i>fortunate</i>. She was re-sold several times, finally in 1883 to Callisto Legnani, Italian consul in Khartoum, Sudan. </p><p>Two years later he took Josephine to Italy and gave her to his friend Augusto Michieli. Bakhita became babysitter to Mimmina Michieli, whom she accompanied to Venice's Institute of the Catechumens, run by the Canossian Sisters. While Mimmina was being instructed, Josephine felt drawn to the Catholic Church. She was baptized and confirmed in 1890, taking the name Josephine. </p><p>When the Michielis returned from Africa and wanted to take Mimmina and Josephine back with them, the future saint refused to go. During the ensuing court case, the Canossian sisters and the patriarch of Venice intervened on Josephine's behalf. The judge concluded that since slavery was illegal in Italy, she had actually been free since 1885. </p><p>Josephine entered the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa in 1893 and made her profession three years later. In 1902, she was transferred to the city of Schio (northeast of Verona), where she assisted her religious community through cooking, sewing, embroidery and welcoming visitors at the door. She soon became well loved by the children attending the sisters' school and the local citizens. She once said, "Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!" </p><p>The first steps toward her beatification began in 1959. She was beatified in 1992 and canonized eight years later.</p> American Catholic Blog St. Paul talks about the Christian life as a race, and encourages us to run so as to win. So it’s not just OK, it’s commanded to be competitive, to strive to excel. But true greatness consists in sharing in the sacrificial love of Christ, who comes to serve rather than to be served. That means that this race St. Paul is talking about is a race to the bottom.

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CATHOLIC GREETINGS
St. Josephine Bakhita
Today we honor the first saint from the Sudan, who was a model of piety and humility.

National Marriage Week
During this week especially tell each other how much your marriage means to you.

St. Valentine's Day
Schedule one or more e-cards today to be sent next Sunday.

Carnival
Create a festive atmosphere and invite friends over for one last party before the Lenten fast.

Catholic Schools Week
In the Catholic schools, parents know that their children are being formed as well as informed.




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