Film Reviews

Directed by Kevin Reynolds, starring Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Peter Firth, and Cliff Curtis, 107 minutes

Risen, released in the UK just before Holy Week and Easter, describes the death and resurrection of Jesus through the eyes of a Roman military tribune, Clavius (played by Joseph Fiennes). In the turbulent atmosphere in Jerusalem Pontius Pilate, brilliantly played by Peter Firth (of Spooks fame) tasks him with finishing off the crucifixion and then ensuring that the tomb in which Jesus (who is referred to throughout the film by his correct Aramaic name of Yeshua) is buried is properly sealed and guarded. He then has to try and find Jesus’ body after the tomb is found to be empty. In the course of his investigations he has some of the Nazarene’s disciples arrested and interrogated, and eventually finds all of them in hiding – with the risen Christ. This experience leads him to follow the frightened band to Galilee, where he witnesses Jesus healing a leper, and finds faith in Christ.

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Short Reviews

Serving Liturgical Renewal. Pastoral and Theological Questions
Essays in honour of Patrick Jones

Editors: Thomas R. Whelan and Liam M. Tracey
ISBN: 978-1-84730-562-6
Date: 2015
Price: £18.50
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Publisher: Veritas

Father Paddy Jones was for many years Director of the (Irish) National Centre for Liturgy, based at Maynooth. This is a Festschrift for his seventieth birthday and retirement. Jones has played an important part in implementing the liturgical reforms called for by Sacrosanctum Concilium in Ireland, and the contributors to this volume from among his colleagues look at a wide variety of liturgical topics – for example music (a subject close to Jones’ heart), the words of the text, Scripture, the Marriage rite, the role of the cathedral and the place of liturgy in formation. The final chapter by Sister Moira Bergin assesses Jones’ own contribution to liturgical renewal in Ireland. This is a good volume not only for those who want to assess how liturgy is in Ireland, but for students of liturgy in general.

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Ireland & Vatican II: Essays Theological, Pastoral and Educational

Edited by Niall Coll
ISBN: 9781782182764
Date: 2015
Price: £14.99
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Publisher: The Columba Press, Dublin

This volume of twenty-two essays explores Vatican II’s influence in Ireland. All are written in a clear and easy style accessible to the general reader, unlike some such collections which can be turgid. And in a time when things Catholic seem to be in decline not just in Ireland but across Europe, the book is marked overall by a positive yet realistic tone. The work is divided into three parts: Retrospectives; Theological, Pastoral and Social; Catholic Education.

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The Nation that Forgot God. A Chorus of Challenge to the Secular Establishment

Editors: Edward Leigh and Alex Haydon
ISBN: 978-0852448793
Year: 2016
Price: £12.99
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Publisher: Gracewing

Here is a collection of essays, which while demonstrating the penetration of secular ideas in all spheres of society and their negative consequences, offers some positive solutions and ways to bring to peace secular and religious ways of thinking and acting.

Edward Leigh shows in the first essay statistics on the decline of religious practice in the UK; he analyses the reasons for this and shows what made people happier in the UK of 1950s. He also states that while Catholic bishops tend to concentrate on the issues of Third World poverty, homelessness and abortion, the primary job of the Church should be reforming the souls of individuals.

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Moments to Remember. Ignatian Wisdom for Aging

Authors: Carol Ann Smith and Eugene F. Mertz
ISBN: 978-1565485747
Date: 2015
Price: £10.95
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Publisher: New City Press       

This is a thoughtful and thought-provoking book, to be taken slowly and prayerfully. Aging is a long process in our lives depending on where we begin. Keeping this in mind, this book can be useful at various stages of aging. Only towards the end is there reference to letting go, letting God in, and mention of the latter years of life. Not life running out, but coming to completion.

The authors put the process in perspective as we are asked to look back at the journey of our life, to ponder the big picture, to reflect on life experiences, to name where we are, to wonder at the paths taken and be aware that God has been there along the way.
This is achieved using various aspects and structures of prayer as suggested and taught by St Ignatius of Loyola.

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