Faith, Media & Culture

Here are today’s dispatches from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

1. Gabriel Award Winners announced.  The prizes, presented by Catholic media professionals, honor inspiring works of excellence in film, television and radio.

Among this year’s notable honorees are the excellent Odyssey Network’s documentary Serving Life (which aired on Oprah Winfrey’s Own Network) and Mass Confusion, a family sitcom produced for CatholicTV.

Mass Confusion stars Greg and Jennifer Willits, authors of The Catholics Next Door: Adventures in Imperfect Living. The couple, of course, also host a daily radio program on SiriusXM’s Catholic Channel.

The  awards will be handed in a ceremony to be held on June 21 in Indianapolis. Click here for a complete list of the honorees.

2. Catholic leaders praise For Greater Glory. The upcoming epic about Mexico’s Cristero War in which 1920-era Mexican rebels rose in rebellion against a government clampdown on  religious freedom won praise last week the World Missions Dinner held in the Big Apple. Welcoming the film’s stars Andy Garcia and Eduardo Verástegui and executive producer Pablo Barrosoto to the event, New York Cardinal  Timothy Dolan called the film “stunning” and encouraged attendees to see the film when it opens June 1.

Pontifical Mission Societies Director, the Very Rev. Andrew Small, hosted the prestigious ceremony, which attracted a Who’s Who in the media and the Catholic Church around the world in support of the missions in more than 1,100 dioceses worldwide. The Holy See’s Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S., Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò also attended the dinner, honored bestselling novelist Mary Higgins Clark; CNBC’s Larry Kudlow; Cardinal Theodore McCarick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, D.C.; Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley; and bishops from all over the world.

Note: I recently interviewed Andy Garcia and Eduardo Verástegui. I’ll be publishing  both interviews (as well as my review of the film) as its  June 1 U.S. release date nears.

3. Darling Companion recommended. I just caught the Lawrence Kasdan film starring Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline about what happens when a husband accidentally loses his wife’s beloved dog during a walk in the woods. Though not really in the faith-based category per se, it’s a nice story with subtly positive  reflections about about such things as marriage, family, forgiveness, love and perseverance.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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