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Sorority Row

John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service

Early on in the cut-rate horror tale "Sorority Row" (Summit), a hard-drinking coed who goes by the poetic moniker Chugs (Margo Harshman) watches via computer cam as her brother Garrett (Matt O'Leary) beds Megan (Audrina Patridge), one of her sorority sisters whom Garrett has drugged to make her more cooperative. This uplifting scene pretty much sets the tone for the old-fashioned exercise in exploitation that follows.

The sketchy plot hinges on the fact that Garrett is Megan's ex-boyfriend whom she dumped for cheating. Out for revenge, she and some of her other sisters—Cassidy (Briana Evigan), Jessica (Leah Pipes), Ellie (Rumer Willis) and Claire (Jamie Chung)—have concocted a prank that involves convincing Garrett that the supposed date-rape pills he gave Megan (in fact just vitamins supplied by the girls) have poisoned and killed her.

For reasons too boring to detail, the trick goes terribly wrong, and Megan ends up really and most sincerely dead. Garrett and the girls agree to conceal the mishap by dumping Megan's body and claiming she simply disappeared. But their coverup starts to unravel several months later as the female members of the guilty group fall prey, one by one, to a black-robed slasher.

As directed by Stewart Hendler, the gruesome proceedings are interspersed with "Animal House"-style high jinks, gratuitous nudity (predictably, the stalker claims one of his victims in the sorority showers) and the early stages of a number of utterly promiscuous sexual encounters.

The film contains frequent bloody violence, brief nongraphic nonmarital sexual activity, upper female and rear nudity, a couple of profanities, and much rough and crude language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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James of the Marche: Meet one of the fathers of the modern pawnshop! 
<p>James was born in the Marche of Ancona, in central Italy along the Adriatic Sea. After earning doctorates in canon and civil law at the University of Perugia, he joined the Friars Minor and began a very austere life. He fasted nine months of the year; he slept three hours a night. St. Bernardine of Siena told him to moderate his penances. </p><p>James studied theology with St. John of Capistrano. Ordained in 1420, James began a preaching career that took him all over Italy and through 13 Central and Eastern European countries. This extremely popular preacher converted many people (250,000 at one estimate) and helped spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. His sermons prompted numerous Catholics to reform their lives and many men joined the Franciscans under his influence. </p><p>With John of Capistrano, Albert of Sarteano and Bernardine of Siena, James is considered one of the "four pillars" of the Observant movement among the Franciscans. These friars became known especially for their preaching. </p><p>To combat extremely high interest rates, James established <i>montes pietatis</i> (literally, mountains of charity)--nonprofit credit organizations that lent money at very low rates on pawned objects. </p><p>Not everyone was happy with the work James did. Twice assassins lost their nerve when they came face to face with him. James died in 1476 and was canonized in 1726.</p> American Catholic Blog Let us never tire of seeking the Lord—of letting ourselves be sought by him—of tending over our relationship with him in silence and prayerful listening. Let us keep our gaze fixed on him, the center of time and history; let us make room for his presence within us.

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