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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

No Reservations

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Sweet story, adapted from the 2001 German film "Mostly Martha," now set in New York, about a work-obsessed master chef (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who takes in her orphaned 9-year-old niece (Abigail Breslin) and her subsequent rivalry with and then growing admiration for the restaurant's happy-go-lucky sous-chef (Aaron Eckhart) who helps open her up to life. Despite formulaic and overly sentimental moments, director Scott Hicks' excellent adaptation maintains a sensible tone, and allows the engaging story to unfold at an unhurried pace, while the performances are immensely appealing. Apart from a handful of expletives and crass expressions, including an instance of profanity and some remarks that imply the acceptability of premarital living arrangements, and one such implied encounter, the film may be acceptable for older adolescents. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.



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Pierre Toussaint: 
		<p>Born in modern-day Haiti and brought to New York City as a slave, Pierre died a free man, a renowned hairdresser and one of New York City’s most well-known Catholics. <br /><br />Pierre Bérard, a plantation owner, made Toussaint a house slave and allowed his grandmother to teach her grandson how to read and write. In his early 20s, Pierre, his younger sister, his aunt and two other house slaves accompanied their master’s son to New York City because of political unrest at home. Apprenticed to a local hairdresser, Pierre learned the trade quickly and eventually worked very successfully in the homes of rich women in New York City. <br /><br />When his master died, Pierre was determined to support his master’s widow, himself and the other house slaves. He was freed shortly before the widow’s death in 1807. </p>
		<p>Four years later he married Marie Rose Juliette, whose freedom he had purchased. They later adopted Euphémie, his orphaned niece. Both preceded him in death. He attended daily Mass at St. Peter’s Church on Barclay Street, the same parish that St. Elizabeth Seton attended. <br /><br />Pierre donated to various charities, generously assisting blacks and whites in need. He and his wife opened their home to orphans and educated them. The couple also nursed abandoned people who were suffering from yellow fever. Urged to retire and enjoy the wealth he had accumulated, Pierre responded, “I have enough for myself, but if I stop working I have not enough for others.” <br /><br />He was originally buried outside St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, where he was once refused entrance because of his race. His sanctity and the popular devotion to him caused his body to be moved to St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue. <br /><br />Pierre Toussaint was declared Venerable in 1996.</p>
American Catholic Blog We have a responsibility to balance the scales, to show love where there is hate, to provide food where there is hunger, and to protect what is vulnerable. If life has treated you well, then justice demands that you help balance the scales.

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CATHOLIC GREETINGS
Ven. Pierre Toussaint
This former slave is one of many American holy people whose life particularly models Christian values.

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