The digs are elegant, the weather, perfect. I know quite a few people, since there is some cross over with other conferences I have attended. This is the first time I have attended this one, thanks to the generosity of others.
Last night, I saw an advance screening of a movie with Jim Caviezel, When The Game Stands Tall. The name is a bit odd, but it explains itself along the way. This is a new contribution to a well-established genre, the high school football movie. It is based on a true story of Catholic De Lasalle Highschool, not far from where I write, which had a football team winning streak of – I am not making this up – 151 games. The coach’s desire was to bring out of all the boys a perfect effort, not necessarily a win, and, thereby, help them become men. The movie is, in an over-arching way, formulaic – as true stories often are, you know. Man remains the same, fallen and risen. So, the winning team has a crisis they have to overcome and they find themselves along the way. The coach has a crisis, and he has to figure out being both a coach and a husband and father. There is a moment of truth (involving – yes – a football game). Sound familiar? It ought to. But this movie does it well. A week or so ago I watched a similar movie, made by Evangelicals from a big church in Georgia (US not Asia). Same basic common themes, but will overt Evangelical “Bible only” … well… thumping… and not a little prosperity Gospel stuff tossed in for good measure. This new movie is not overtly Catholic. Though it is at a Catholic Highschool, there is no cleric involved. The only church scene is in a baptist church. Scripture verses figure a couple times, and prominently and appropriately. You see the players at prayer twice (I think) and, that, the Lord’s Prayer. So, this is not in-your-face Catholcism. But, the world-view in the movie seemed Catholic to me. The concept of the team promoted by their coach seemed to be founded on sacrificial love: seek that which is good for the other, not just for oneself. Make a perfect effort.
I hope that, as the release date of the film comes closer, you will, in your parishes and groups, promote the film and even organize trips to the theatre as groups to see it early in its release.
We have seen some films, and pretty ones – all things considered – from Evangelicals, Facing The Giants. They are trying to use this medium (film) to advance that which is dear to them. Watching the credits of the Georgia football movie blew me away, as I saw dozens and dozens of people and organizations and businesses that contributed to the effort, which was, effectively, a parish initiative… to make a movie. Get that? Could your parish make a movie?
Here is the trailer for the new Caviezel film:
This new movie, When The Game Stands Tall, is being put out by Carmel Communications. And, it seems, they are not allowing the let grass grow under their feet. The music disks of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, are handled by Carmel Communications. As they, and Carmel, have done well, they can tackle bigger projects.
Today, before the midday conference, Carmel showed us a tailer of another movie, to come out in September, The Song, which has something to do with the story of Solomon.
We have a lot of catching up to do.
Once upon a time, there was a strong positive Catholic strain in the film industry. That went away. It must be reclaimed. That is why you, in a fundamental way, must choose to support Catholic films. Make some plans.
In any event, there’s lots of food and wine – yes, wine. Today there was a Mass with Cardinal Harvey. Then Cardinal Levada exposed the Blessed Sacrament and had a procession. Exposition goes on during the day, confessions are heard, there are multiple Masses, including the Extraordinary Form. No, they didn’t ask me, which was a mistake. As I type there is a talk on Science and Faith. Yes, I can multitask, which is a gift.
The conference schedule is pretty complicated, with overlapping streams. You have to choose between good and good, alas, bilocation not being perfected.
I may just toss up my hands and drive around the vineyards and taste wine, which I haven’t done for many years.
Dr. Philip Jenkins Elements of Culture for a Thriving Faith
New Evangelization is a theme here. I wonder if we will hear anyone make a connection with our sacred liturgical worship. This fellow just ran down, I think, the old Mass for today. I’ll have to collar him later.
Card Levada is talking about New Evangelization.