Arts

Taking the glory out of war

What We Talk About When We Talk About War by Noah Richler (Goose Lane Editions, 376 pages, $24.95).

Noah Richler, son of novelist Mordecai, product of a liberal upbringing in Montreal and London, has crafted an interesting and aggressive defense of Canada’s history as a peaceful nation.

I was immediately struck by the question, “Who would read this book?” The hawks won’t want to read it since this book clearly implies — from the title to the picture of the haunted face of the Afghani woman on the cover — that war is on trial in these pages. Dedicated doves don’t need to read it, since they are already convinced of Richler’s arguments. Richler says he wrote it for the rest, the undecided, “the vast majority of Canadians … who depend on what they learn from others for the views they take on. “

Actor Gary Sinise wins Gabriel Personal Achievement Award

INDIANAPOLIS - Actor Gary Sinise, a Catholic actor who stars in the TV drama "CSI: New York" but who is perhaps best known for his role as Lt. Dan in the 1994 film "Forrest Gump," received the Gabriel Personal Achievement Award, presented by the Catholic Academy of Communication Arts Professionals.

Sinise, who was not on hand to receive the award, donates much of his time to entertaining the troops in Iraq and is co-founder of the nonprofit charity Operation Iraqi Children, which provides schoolchildren with basic school supplies.

Finding the story behind the church through photography

When Ottawa-based photographer Mark Schacter realized he had amassed a pretty extensive collection of church photographs, he was a bit surprised.

Schacter will be spending the next year building on his library of church photos, following in the footsteps of some of the great photographers of our day, from Ansel Adams to James Nachtwey. Schacter is adding more churches, as well as synagogues, mosques, gudwaras and temples, for his Houses of Worship project — a book to be published in 2013. The book of photos and essays will concentrate on architecture inspired by faith in Canada and the United States.

Priest and musician brings his music to Canada [w/ video]

For Fr. Robert Galea, music is the language of the heart.

“And what better way to preach the Gospel than through the language of the heart?” asks the 30-year-old Maltese singer, songwriter and priest serving in Shepparton, Australia.

Sponsored by Salt + Light Television in collaboration with dioceses across Canada, Galea will be on tour in Canada in early July with stops planned in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Winnipeg. Specific dates were not yet confirmed by press time.

Teacher’s play an extension of Catholic education

TORONTO - Liezl Mejia believes everything happens for a reason. She feels it’s important to have faith and always believe God is there for you. And this is the message Mejia, who plays the main character Mary in St. Joseph Secondary School’s musical Waiting for God, hopes audiences will walk away with.

“I’m blessed to have this opportunity because it made me feel that I was a living testimony to God’s existence,” says Mejia, whose character is literally waiting for God to show up at a bus stop after her fiancé dies of cancer. During her wait, she encounters a variety of characters.

Catholic Movie Reviews - Brave, Rock of Ages, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter & more

This week sees the release of the new Pixar movie Brave and a new fun take on the life and times of Abraham Lincoln.

Polarization between the religious left, right continues

Dennis Gruending’s latest book proves the religious left is still treating the religious right more like bogeymen than the people in the next pew, and that’s a shame.

Gruending sees a pattern in these facts: REAL Women of Canada, a conservative pressure group, urged the Harper Government to terminate Status of Women Canada, a government organization answerable to the Minister for Status of Women. The Christian Family Action Coalition (CFAC) lobbied against funding for KAIROS, an ecumenical social justice organization. The government seriously wounded the Status of Women, and entirely cut KAIROS’ funding.

Berlanty’s plight showcased in new Salt+Light documentary

I first met Berlanty Azzam just outside the Old City of Jerusalem. Pulling up in a taxi, the business administration student had arrived directly from the Gaza Strip. Our cameraman was determined to capture her exact moment of arrival.

It was the first time she had been in Jerusalem in years and, more importantly, the first time that the Israeli government permitted her to leave Gaza since she had been deported there from the West Bank one month earlier. She was now preparing to meet with her lawyers before she contested the deportation at Israel’s Supreme Court.

Christianity and science do go together for Michael Coren

The following is excerpted from Heresy: Ten Lies They Spread About Christianity © 2012 by Michael Coren, an award-winning columnist of The Catholic Register. Published by Signal, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

The idea that Christianity is somehow opposed to science, and that individual Christians cannot reconcile their faith to scientific discoveries, is a relatively modern canard, but successfully and damagingly promulgated, usually by people who know very little about science and its history, or about Christianity and Christians. It’s a part of the larger, “Christians are stupid” approach, usually offered by people who are inspired by talk shows rather than texts, and assume that because a television mini-series or popular novel has depicted Christians as being superstitious, foolish, reactionary and frightened of change, such must be the case. The science aspect of all this is particularly nauseating, not only because it is fundamentally untrue, but that it is thrown at Christianity at a time when society is arguably experiencing one of its most credulous and naïve stages and is only too willing to embrace any and every kind of non-scientific or anti-scientific nonsense, from alien invasion stories to ghost myths, and from conspiracy theories to supernatural animals. To paraphrase the great Christian writer G.K. Chesterton, when people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in something else, they believe in anything else.

Vision series a treat as it chronicles the Bible’s women of notoriety

I wasn’t sure what to expect from a program called Notorious Women of the Bible. Actually I was a little put off by the obviously provocative title. It seemed like a ploy to attract some of that large and lucrative audience normally drawn to programs like Desperate Housewives.

Not to disparage Desperate Housewives, but Hollywood depicts notorious women a dozen times a night on television. I was hoping for something a little different.

Catholic Movie Reviews - Prometheus, Madagascar 3

Ridley Scott's Alien "prequel" is finally arriving in theatres, does it live up to the hype? And if you're wondering what the gang of the Madagascar movies have been up to, then you're in look as part three in the series hits theatres.

Art is part of the healing for residential school survivors

TORONTO - While residential school survivors told their life stories of trying to piece together family life after childhoods spent in an institution, Hilton Henhawk held a brush above canvass.

As an artist trained at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto and an elder in his own right, Henhawk was seeking a picture of native culture and identity that transcends the residential school experience without forgetting the harm his people have suffered.

"It's got to be representative of the native as a whole," Henhawk told The Catholic Register as he began to paint an ideal chief — a leader who could embody the spirit of his people.

Choir school training launched jazz singer Matt Dusk’s career

TORONTO - Toronto-born jazz artist Matt Dusk originally got into the music business because of a cow.

“I don’t know if you remember, but there was this television commercial with a singing cow for HP,” said Dusk, and as though to jog the memory he croons out a snippet of a jingle in his signature silky tone, complete with “moo” at the end. Although, a more dulcet cow sound is scarce to be found.