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Holy & sacred: Marriage and family

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It probably shouldn’t be necessary to have pastoral letters or papal encyclicals or apostolic exhortations to tell us what we should already know: that marriage and the family life it creates are holy and sacred.

And yet, as someone celebrating 40 years of marriage and 36 years of parenthood this year, I readily admit that there are times when the sacredness of marriage and family life gets lost amid the day-to-day challenges and struggles of surviving in the world. Read more »

Auks break out the bats in win over Hodgson

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For The Dialog

 

WILMINGTON – Archmere and Hodgson met on April 30 at Frawley Stadium, and the Auks jumped out to a 5-0 lead on their way to a 14-9 win.

The Auks scored three runs in the first as Colin Lynch and Tighe Watson singled. Lynch would score on a wild pitch, and Watson came home on a Daniel Matranga sacrifice fly. An error led to Archmere’s third run. Read more »

Appo holds off Auks’ quest for softball upset

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For The Dialog

 

CLAYMONT – Archmere hosted Appoquinimink on April 30, and the Auks fell just short of upsetting the state’s fourth-ranked softball team. The Jaguars escaped with a 3-2 win.

The Auks had lost three in a row coming into the game, and Caravel had defeated top-ranked Caravel earlier in the week. Appo struck first as Rachel Durham reached on an error and scored on a two-out hit by Haley Jones in the top of the second. Brooke Miller added a solo home run with two outs in the third to double the lead. Read more »

Diocesan group addresses relations with other faiths

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In the last 2,000 years the church has called ecumenical councils to struggle with changes in the church and the world. More than 50 years ago, Pope John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council to prepare the church for the 20th century. Like many councils, it prepared a program to help the church in its mission in the modern world.

Fifty years have passed and the council’s recommendations and aims still need to be studied and addressed. The changes were intensive and challenging. As in any organization, there are always two sides in the debate, so it is no surprise it has taken many years to understand and accept its decision. Read more »

Success in life, as in climbing, depends on ability to adapt, Padua students hear

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Dialog reporter

 

WILMINGTON — Climbing the world’s tallest mountains requires the ability to change course at a moment’s notice, American climber Alison Levine told students at Padua Academy on April 7. The same could be said of many of the situations life presents.

“When you’re up there on the mountain, you have to make very tough decisions,” said Levine, who the night before was honored by Padua at the school’s annual Dinner in Honor of Women’s Achievement.

Levine knows a thing or two about climbing mountains. She is one of the few people in the world who has summited the tallest peaks on each of the seven continents and skiing to both the North and South poles, known as the Adventure Grand Slam. She reached the top of Mount Everest in May 2010 to complete the feat. Read more »

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‘Keanu’ — ‘Here, kitty’ satire mimics ‘raw’ material it sends up

April 29th, 2016 Posted in Movies Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele of the acclaimed Comedy Central television series “Key & Peele” star in the satirical action-comedy “Keanu.”

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele star in a scene from the movie "Keanu." The Catholic News Service classification is O -- morally offensive. (CNS /Warner Bros.) S

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele star in a scene from the movie “Keanu.” The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. (CNS /Warner Bros.) S

The duo’s brand of socially aware humor, which frequently considers the influence of pop culture on racial identity, translates well to the big screen. The catch is that they’re bound to mimic what they spoof. And so, in crucial areas, their movie traffics in precisely the material they’re sending up.

Thus, despite a plot that hinges on an adorable kitten, an abundance of foul language renders the effort unavoidably distasteful. That’s too bad, because the cursing — taken together with the details of a gritty milieu, mars an amusing and insightful commentary on how mass-media offerings create and enforce race-related stereotypes.

Key and Peele are engaging, relatable performers whose combination of shrewdness and goofiness allows them to deal with such sensitive topics in a way that reliably triggers laughter as well as reflection. It helps that their cinematic and musical references are mainstream and difficult to miss.

They portray two nerdy African-American residents of Los Angeles who find themselves in an uncomfortable and precarious situation. After a drug dealer and his crew are ambushed while packaging their wares inside an abandoned church, the only survivor is a cute if mangy kitten. The cat escapes and ends up on the doorstep of graphic artist Rell (played by Peele, who co-wrote the script with Alex Rubens).

Rell is depressed because his girlfriend just dumped him. But the kitty, which he dubs Keanu, a nod both to the eponymous movie star and to his Hawaiian name’s original meaning, “cool breeze” — lifts his spirits. When Keanu is abducted several weeks later, Rell’s cousin, Clarence (Key) — a straitlaced family man who drives a minivan and listens to George Michael — vows to help find him.

Their search takes them to the strip-club headquarters of an inner-city gang. Far out of their comfort zones and potentially subject to great bodily harm, they spontaneously pose as murderous street thugs, anointing themselves Tectonic and Shark Tank. For their gambit to succeed, they’ll have to prove themselves during a drug sale at the Hollywood Hills home of a movie actress.

While wisecracking about African-American stereotypes and lampooning the grandiosity and tired conventions of gangster movies, “Keanu” also pokes fun at the coded language and behavioral types associated with other ethnic groups.

Will Forte plays a Caucasian pot dealer whose speech pattern and cornrows indicate he desperately wants to be black. And the appearance of actor Luis Guzman — a fixture in crime flicks over the last four decades — in the role of a drug lord implies Hispanics are not immune to prejudicial pigeonholing, either in real life or in art.

Director Peter Atencio, who helmed numerous episodes of “Key & Peele,” keeps the focus on his two stars. Their approach is generally lighthearted and good-natured.

Yet the disrespectful tone suggested by having a place of worship serve as a narcotics den is carried over in subsequent references to God. And the underworld atmosphere is reinforced with bloodletting and with the bodies of exploited women.

The film contains scenes of sometimes gory violence, much drug use, some irreverence, upper female and rear nudity, occasional profanity as well as pervasive rough language. The Catholic News Service classification is O, morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted.  – – –

 

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3-D ‘’Ratchet & Clank’ remains flat

April 29th, 2016 Posted in Movies Tags: , ,

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‘Catholic News Service

Busy 3-D visuals fail to mask the flat tone and by-the-numbers storytelling of the animated sci-fi adventure “Ratchet & Clank” (Gramercy). In fact, even undemanding youngsters may feel the space-time continuum yawning before them as the seemingly interminable 94 minutes of this video-game adaptation tick away.

Ratchet, center, voiced by James Arnold Taylor, appears in the animated movie "Ratchet & Clank." (CNS/Gramercy Pictures)

Ratchet, center, voiced by James Arnold Taylor, appears in the animated movie “Ratchet & Clank.” (CNS/Gramercy Pictures)

There’s nothing particularly wrong with the film’s underlying message. As encapsulated in the repeated tagline, “You don’t have to do big things to be a hero; just the right ones,” it actually echoes — however faintly — Mother Teresa’s famous formula: “small things with great love.” But the vehicle used to convey this respectable theme bears more resemblance to a tired jalopy than a gleaming spaceship.

Thus there’s a strained quality to the attempts at humor with which the script — penned by co-director Kevin Munroe in collaboration with T.J. Fixman and Gerry Swallow — tries to make the predictable plot more involving. When your primary hero, the titular Ratchet (voice of James Arnold Taylor), is a catlike creature called a lombax whose very nature requires an explanatory detour, moreover, it doesn’t bode well for the journey ahead.

An accomplished, albeit somewhat scatterbrained, mechanic, Ratchet longs to leave the garage behind and join a glamorous band of interplanetary peacekeepers known as the Galactic Rangers. When he tries out for this prestigious team via an interview with their vain leader, Qwark (voice of Jim Ward), however, things go so badly wrong that Ratchet finds himself back among the spare parts being consoled by his gruff but kindly employer, Grimroth (voiced by John Goodman).

Yet plucky underdogs can’t be kept down forever. At least in the world of kids’ movies they can’t. So it’s not long before Ratchet teams with brainiac robot Clank (voice of David Kaye) to take on Drek (voice of Paul Giamatti), a planet-destroying villain who has temporarily managed to stymie the Rangers.

We know that the aptly named Drek must be about the blackest hat going since he’s not only a tycoon, but a polluting industrialist whose frequently seen factory spews soot into the air with merry abandon.

Joined at the helm by Jericca Cleland, Munroe adds moral observations about the dangers of pride and the need to be a team player to the aforementioned outline of everyday heroism. If their eyes haven’t glazed over, those are ethical signals parents and little ones alike can profitably take on board.

Momentary dangers and some loud mayhem, however, suggest that the very youngest moviegoers might better be steered in a different direction. All the more so if those supervising them have a low tolerance for tedium.

The film contains some cartoon violence, including explosions, and occasional peril. The Catholic News Service classification is A-I — general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

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Bishop in Jamaica named auxiliary bishop for Brooklyn

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WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has named Bishop Neil E. Tiedemann as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York.

The appointment was announced April 29 in Washington by Msgr. Walter Erbi, charge d’affairs of the nunciature in the United States.

Pope Francis has named Bishop Neil E. Tiedemann of Mandeville, Jamaica, as auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn, N.Y. (CNS photo/courtesy Diocese of Mandeville)

Pope Francis has named Bishop Neil E. Tiedemann of Mandeville, Jamaica, as auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn, N.Y. (CNS photo/courtesy Diocese of Mandeville)

Bishop Tiedemann, 68, has been bishop of Mandeville, Jamaica, since 2008. He is a member of the Passionists and was ordained in 1975.

He has served at parishes in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts as well as in Honduras from 1987 to 1994 and again from 2005 to 2006, as well as Jamaica.

In fact, Bishop Tiedemann, who was born in Brooklyn, has served in two Jamaicas: the one in the Caribbean and the one in the New York City borough of Queens, which is also home to St. John’s University. He had served as associate pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish for seven years after his ordination to the priesthood. During that time, then-Father Tiedemann also worked for Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens.

“We in the Diocese of Brooklyn are delighted to welcome home Bishop Neil Tiedemann,” said Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn in an April 29 statement. “The Passionist Fathers in general, and Bishop Tiedemann in particular, minister especially to those who find themselves in the midst of suffering. He has the heart of Christ.”

Born on March 5, 1948, Bishop Tiedemann entered the Passionists in 1970 and made perpetual vows in 1974. His pastoral work in the United States included two separate stints at St. Joseph’s Passionist Parish in Union City, New Jersey; Blessed Sacrament Parish in Springfield, Massachusetts; Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Brooklyn. He was appointed the bishop of Mandeville by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008.

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Suggestions for planning your Catholic wedding liturgy

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Congratulations on your engagement! The church rejoices with you and eagerly awaits the day you become husband and wife, a new family, in the covenant of marriage (a sacrament for baptized Christians). The following are suggestions for the centerpiece of your wedding day: the wedding liturgy.

The Catholic wedding liturgy (or ceremony) presents engaged couples with both choices and structure. The structure is provided by the Rite of Marriage, the ritual book that contains the prayers, readings and liturgical forms used in Catholic weddings throughout the United States. The choices come from a variety of options provided in the Rite of Marriage, which include cultural customs approved for use in the United States. Take some time as a couple to think about these choices and then discuss them with the priest, deacon or other pastoral minister at your parish. Read more »

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2016 Marriage prep course schedule

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The following marriage preparation courses — Pre-Cana and Remarriage — will be offered by the Diocese of Wilmington’s Office for Marriage and Family Life this year:

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