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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Off the Map

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Leisurely paced but ultimately affecting story (based on a play by Joan Ackermann) of the unconventional Groden family living in virtual isolation in New Mexico -- a husband (Sam Elliott) suffering from such depression he barely speaks; a mother (Joan Allen) who sometimes gardens in the nude; a precocious 11-year-old daughter (Valentina De Angelis) with a mind of her own; and the Internal Revenue Service agent (Jim True-Frost) who comes to see them about unpaid back taxes and who is so charmed by their bohemian lifestyle he decides to stay. Peculiar as the synopsis may sound, actor Campbell Scott's second solo directorial stint is actually a rather sweet story with a positive message about the value of family and love, and features solid performances all around, including that of J.K. Simmons as the husband's best friend. Fleeting, shadowy nudity, some crass language and brief sensuality. 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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