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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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Fidelis of Sigmaringen: If a poor man needed some clothing, Fidelis would often give the man the clothes right off his back. Complete generosity to others characterized this saint's life. 
<p>Born in 1577, Mark Rey (Fidelis was his religious name) became a lawyer who constantly upheld the causes of the poor and oppressed people. Nicknamed "the poor man's lawyer," Fidelis soon grew disgusted with the corruption and injustice he saw among his colleagues. He left his law career to become a priest, joining his brother George as a member of the Capuchin Order. His wealth was divided between needy seminarians and the poor. </p><p>As a follower of Francis, Fidelis continued his devotion to the weak and needy. During a severe epidemic in a city where he was guardian of a friary, Fidelis cared for and cured many sick soldiers. </p><p>He was appointed head of a group of Capuchins sent to preach against the Calvinists and Zwinglians in Switzerland. Almost certain violence threatened. Those who observed the mission felt that success was more attributable to the prayer of Fidelis during the night than to his sermons and instructions. </p><p>He was accused of opposing the peasants' national aspirations for independence from Austria. While he was preaching at Seewis, to which he had gone against the advice of his friends, a gun was fired at him, but he escaped unharmed. A Protestant offered to shelter Fidelis, but he declined, saying his life was in God's hands. On the road back, he was set upon by a group of armed men and killed. </p><p>He was canonized in 1746. Fifteen years later, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, which was established in 1622, recognized him as its first martyr.</p> American Catholic Blog Obedience means total surrender and wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor. All the difficulties that come in our work are the result of disobedience.

 
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