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  • Music, faith intertwined for retired violinist now in ministry as deacon
    INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) — Violinist David Bartolowits played his last concert with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Dec. 23, 2016, winding up his 35-year musical career with a heartwarming Christmas concert.
  • Actress calls her deafness 'a gift'
    CHICAGO (CNS) — When Lauren Teruel Ridloff stepped through the door at Children of Peace School, she said she felt like nothing had changed.
    "It was a little overwhelming," said Ridloff, 40, who was last in the school — then known as Holy Trinity School for the Deaf — when she graduated from eighth grade in 1991.
  • A moral force or a fake?
    NEW YORK (CNS) —The arrival of "Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral," billed as the last of Perry's 11 films featuring his signature alter ego, Mabel "Madea" Simmons, would appear to be an ideal opportunity for reflection on what this character has meant as a moral force.
  • 'Alienated America' author urges Catholics to engage in parish, community
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — When you hear the word "alien," what do you first think of? A short man with a bulbous head hailing from Mars? Perhaps the intractable national debate on border security?
  • Catholic-themed entries win awards from Religion Communicators Council
    NEW YORK (CNS) — A number of Catholic themed entries were chosen as winners in the Wilbur Awards competition sponsored by the Religion Communicators Council.
  • Captive State
    NEW YORK (CNS) — With the sci-fi drama "Captive State" (Focus), director and co-writer Rupert Wyatt has set out to tell a thoughtful, complex story and to comment on a variety of social issues.
  • Five Feet Apart
    NEW YORK (CNS) — "Five Feet Apart" (Lionsgate), a generally engaging young-adult romantic drama about the redeeming power of sacrificial love, is aimed, with the precision of a heat-seeking missile, at 17-year-old girls.
  • 'The Fix,' March 18, ABC
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The name of a TV show's executive producer isn't always of great interest to its viewers. But the fact that Marcia Clark, once the lead prosecutor in the murder case against O.J. Simpson, served in that capacity behind the scenes of ABC's limited series drama "The Fix" is significant, especially given the program's plot.
  • “The Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus” will be performed by the Hermitage Player Saturday, April 13, at 3:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center in Astoria.
  • Catholic officials want apology for 'disgraceful' Saturday Night Live skit
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — The initial groans from the audience during a "Saturday Night Live" skit when comedian Pete Davidson likened people who "support the Catholic Church" to R. Kelly fans were just a taste of the reaction this skit would receive from some Catholic officials.
  • Wonder Park
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The most frequently used word in the animated adventure "Wonder Park" (Paramount) is "splendiferous."
  • Far Cry New Dawn
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Excessive violence and muddled morality tarnish "Far Cry New Dawn" (Ubisoft), the latest spin-off of the "Far Cry" franchise that began in 2004. As a result, only discerning adults with a high tolerance for mayhem should consider purchasing the game.
  • Art can inspire people to build sustainable future, says Vatican official
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In a world of different religions, cultures and languages, art has the capacity to bring people together and inspire them to take action in addressing critical challenges, said a Vatican official.
  • 'Manhunt,' March 11, Acorn
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Having played the dyspeptic, idiosyncratic, yet oddly endearing Doc Martin on the eponymous hit ITV and PBS program for eight seasons, Martin Clunes takes on a very different persona in the fact-based crime procedural miniseries "Manhunt."
  • Author's journey can help readers confront their own privilege
    It can be a shock to realize the advantages a person enjoys simply because of the socioeconomic and racial background from which she comes. While some people in today's volatile political climate hesitate to discuss these issues even with friends and family, this book invites readers to dare to examine the privileges they enjoy and to talk about them.
  • Captain Marvel
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Wit, positive messages and lavish production values buoy the origin story "Captain Marvel" (Disney). While some of the mythos in this adaptation of various strands of Marvel Comics lore, as well as other considerations, make it unsuitable for kids, the film is tame enough to be possibly acceptable for mature teens.
  • Apex Legends
    NEW YORK (CNS) — "Apex Legends" (Electronic Arts), a first-person multiplayer shooter, drew a record 10 million gamers within the first 72 hours of its release. Developed by Respawn Entertainment, this free-to-play title takes place within the popular "Titanfall" universe but features hero characters instead of Titan mechs.
  • Latin American saint championed social justice in troubled times
    The canonization last October of St. Oscar Romero renewed attention, after almost 40 years, on the Salvadoran archbishop who may well be Latin America's first martyr to Catholic social teachings. The 62-year-old churchman was assassinated March 24, 1980, by a pro-government hitman while celebrating Mass in the chapel of a small hospital where he lived.
  • Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Tyler Perry has given his alter ego Mabel "Madea" Simmons, in what is billed as the final film of her escapades, a sweet and funny valedictory in "A Madea Family Funeral" (Lionsgate).
  • Bishop 'touched emotionally' by film on Father Tolton's boyhood, family
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CNS) — Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Joseph N. Perry, postulator of Father Augustus Tolton's sainthood cause, said he was "touched emotionally" by the portrayal of the African-American priest's boyhood and family life in the new short film "Across."
  • Catholic artists find Christ in Trinidad Carnival
    PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CNS) -- It's a flesh-fest. That's the simplest definition of Trinidad Carnival today: a feverish festival featuring a season of sizzling soca, fiery fetes and heady nighttime limes on an island where you can still chug your beer standing in the street, culminating in a frenzied, two-day street parade featuring bands of near-naked masqueraders writhing in golden sunshine and glittering costumes.
  • 'Examination of Conscience,' streaming, Netflix
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The recent Vatican summit on clergy sexual abuse called for more urgent, concrete and specific action to manifest the church's unequivocal commitment to zero tolerance. The scandalous revelations that preceded — and necessitated — that unprecedented gathering make the Netflix docuseries "Examination of Conscience" all-too timely.
  • Greta
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Regrets about "Greta" (Focus)? You'll have a few. But this psychological thriller still rises to the level of a guilty pleasure thanks to the abundant talent of its lead players, Isabelle Huppert and Chloe Grace Moretz.
  • Kingdom Hearts III
    NEW YORK (CNS) — "Kingdom Hearts III" (Square Enix) concludes an epic saga that spans nearly 20 years of storytelling and mixes familiar Disney characters with personas original to the franchise.
  • Van Peebles dispenses spiritual wisdom as pastor in 'Run the Race'
    SAN DIEGO (CNS) — The Truett brothers, Zach and Dave, have had it rough.
  • Families find a way forward in the midst of life's difficulties
    "Defying Gravity" provides insight into one family's heart-wrenching reality when two sons, Ben and John, were diagnosed with an incurable disease at an early age. Joe Sikorra and his wife, Lori, open up and share with the readers the emotional journey they are taken on when they discover that their beloved children had a rare neurological disease commonly called juvenile Batten disease.
  • Onimusha: Warlords
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Set in a feudal Japan besieged by monsters, "Onimusha: Warlords" (Capcom) is a 2001 gem that has been remastered with updated mechanics, HD graphics and a new soundtrack.
  • 'The Enemy Within,' Feb. 25, NBC
    NEW YORK (CNS) — By placing a reviled traitor at the heart of its series "The Enemy Within," NBC clearly hopes to make this drama stand out in the crowded field of terrorism-themed shows. Based on the two episodes available for preview, however, it may already be too late to salvage the foundering program.
  • Fighting With My Family
    NEW YORK (CNS) — You can't judge a book by its cover — or, in this case, a film by its title. "Fighting With My Family" (MGM) turns out to be an entertaining comedy-drama despite its off-putting name.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
    NEW YORK (CNS) — In his 1922 book "What I Saw in America," the great Catholic writer G.K. Chesterton reflects on how beautiful New York's Times Square would be for someone who couldn't read. Similarly, the animated adventure "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" (Universal) would benefit from being shown without sound.
  • New book claims homosexuality, hypocrisy rampant in Vatican
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A new book accused the Vatican of hypocrisy, claiming that the majority of prelates working within its walls live active homosexual lifestyles. 
  • Happy Death Day 2U
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Like its 2017 predecessor, "Happy Death Day 2U" (Universal) is all about being trapped in time.
  • Isn't It Romantic
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Funny thing about recent Hollywood comedies, many of them are anything but. Whether marred by a post-"Hangover" desire to be outrageous or by actions or situations entirely unrelated to normal human behavior, they usually wind up being more tiresome than tickling.
  • Apologists outline helpful responses to criticisms of Catholic faith
    Well-known philosopher and author Peter Kreeft and apologist Gerard Verschuuren both adopt simple yet at times challenging approaches to the truth of the faith. The short chapters and simple language make their books accessible to a variety of readers, from recent converts to those wanting to better present their beliefs to the perplexed.
  • Books give guidance, inspiration on ministry to those with disabilities
    One might be surprised that in a book of 114 pages, 16 of them are devoted to the introduction. Yet those are critical pages for Maureen Pratt's "Salt and Light" as they explain why parishes need to examine how they welcome members with disabilities, how they minister to and with them, and how they invite them to minister within the faith community.
  • Alita: Battle Angel
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Everything viewers need to know about the futuristic action adventure "Alita: Battle Angel" (Fox) is summed up in the line of dialogue that describes its young heroine, played by Rosa Salazar, as having "the face of an angel and the body of a warrior."
  • 'Sammy Davis Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me,' Feb. 19, PBS
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Millennials may not be able to place him, but, as the PBS documentary "Sammy Davis Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me" recalls, multi-hyphenate Davis (1925-1990) was once show business royalty.
  • Top 10 movies and family films of 2018
    NEW YORK (CNS) — 2018 was an especially strong year both for documentaries and for fictional films exploring real-life issues, the ramifications of racism in particular. Other timely topics included the place of social media in contemporary life and the centennial of the end of World War I.
  • Book focuses on 'exceptional' work of well-known biblical scholar
    Sulpician Father Raymond E. Brown (1928-1998) was, without a doubt, the greatest American Catholic Bible scholar of the 20th century.
  • The Prodigy
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Grown moviegoers with a strong tolerance for mayhem will learn from the edgy creepy-kid tale "The Prodigy" (Orion), if they didn’t already know it, that the technical term for having different colored eyes is heterochromia.
  • The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Everything is (still) awesome in "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" (Warner Bros.), a spirited and amusing sequel to 2014's "The Lego Movie."
  • The health effects of binge-watching: You are getting very sleepy ...
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — In the beginning, humans regulated their day by the rising and the setting of the sun. Then someone invented the concept of time and its division into hours and minutes.
  • Cold Pursuit
    NEW YORK (CNS) — A grieving father embarks on a murderous rampage to avenge the death of his son in "Cold Pursuit" (Summit), a bloodthirsty crime thriller.
  • What Men Want
    NEW YORK (CNS) — "What Men Want" (Paramount) examines female empowerment and the constant mutual misunderstandings that beset the sexes. A somewhat high raunch factor, however, necessitates a restrictive rating.
  • Hale County This Morning, This Evening
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Sometimes the people responsible for the Academy Awards get it wrong. Recently nominated for an Oscar for best documentary feature, RaMell Ross' nonfiction debut, "Hale County This Morning, This Evening," is a case in point.
  • Subnautica
    NEW YORK (CNS) — A survival game with little violence is a rare gem and "Subnautica" (Unknown Worlds Entertainment) is one such treasure.
  • Roma
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Grown viewers with long attention spans will find Catholicism subtly interwoven into "Roma" (Netflix), writer-director Alfonso Cuaron's meditative autobiographical drama in which he muses on his childhood in the titular neighborhood of Mexico City in the early 1970s.
  • America's first black priest has lessons to teach us today
    Although he died over 120 years ago, Father Augustus Tolton is a man for our times and his story deserves telling. It is the story of America's first recognizably black Catholic priest and his faith, perseverance and holiness.
  • Notre Dame to cover historic Columbus murals
    SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CNS) — The president of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend announced that in consultation with other school officials, he has decided to cover 19th-century murals in a prominent campus building that depict the life and exploration of Christopher Columbus.
  • Miss Bala
    NEW YORK (CNS) — "Miss Bala" (Columbia), director Catherine Hardwicke's remake of a well-received 2011 Spanish-language film, is meant to be the tale of an ordinary woman discovering her inner toughness when placed in extraordinary circumstances.
  • Dragon Ball Super: Broly
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Who needs a roller coaster when you have "Dragon Ball Super: Broly" (Fox), a dizzying Japanese anime film and a headache-inducing assault on all the senses.
  • Movie 'Gosnell' lets the facts speak for themselves, director says
    SAN DIEGO (CNS) — "Pro-life" isn't a label that actor-director Nick Searcy would claim for himself.
  • Serenity
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Is it possible to make a great movie about a woman wanting to croak her husband?
  • Hello Neighbor: Hide and Seek
    NEW YORK (CNS) — "Hello Neighbor: Hide and Seek" (tinyBuild) is the prequel to a surprise cult favorite of 2017, "Hello Neighbor." This suspenseful puzzle game answers many questions players were left asking after the first title's conclusion.