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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion

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Source: Catholic News Service

Wacky but warm follow-up to the 2005 dramedy "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," which finds outrageous southern matriarch Madea (played in drag by Tyler Perry) helping one niece (Rochelle Aytes) escape her abusive live-in fiance (Blair Underwood); another niece (Lisa Arrindell Anderson) find love with a gentlemanly bus driver (Boris Kodjoe); and a wayward youth (Keke Palmer) turn her life around, all the while planning a family gathering. Once again written and directed by Perry, the sequel follows the original's lead, combining off-the-wall humor and serious story lines with strongly religious overtones, resulting in an heartfelt and agreeable affirmation of faith, family and forgiveness -- highlighted by emotional speeches by Cicely Tyson and Maya Angelou about black dignity -- that's easy to applaud, despite its message-heavy sentiment and intermittent vulgarities. Domestic abuse violence, brief drug references, scattered crude sexual and scatological humor, and some crass expressions. 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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Rita of Cascia: Like Elizabeth Ann Seton, Rita of Cascia was a wife, mother, widow and member of a religious community. Her holiness was reflected in each phase of her life. 
<p>Born at Roccaporena in central Italy, Rita wanted to become a nun but was pressured at a young age into marrying a harsh and cruel man. During her 18-year marriage, she bore and raised two sons. After her husband was killed in a brawl and her sons had died, Rita tried to join the Augustinian nuns in Cascia. Unsuccessful at first because she was a widow, Rita eventually succeeded. </p><p>Over the years, her austerity, prayerfulness and charity became legendary. When she developed wounds on her forehead, people quickly associated them with the wounds from Christ's crown of thorns. She meditated frequently on Christ's passion. Her care for the sick nuns was especially loving. She also counseled lay people who came to her monastery. </p><p>Beatified in 1626, Rita was not canonized until 1900. She has acquired the reputation, together with St. Jude, as a saint of impossible cases. Many people visit her tomb each year.</p> American Catholic Blog Your sins are great? Just tell the Lord: Forgive me, help me to get up again, change my heart! –Pope Francis

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