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Arts

Getting to the heart of the legend of Joan of Arc

The product of a decidedly old-world upbringing, French-Canadian filmmaker Dany Chiasson has produced a thoughtful meditation on one of the world’s great saints that feels utterly timeless.

Chiasson grew up with her five siblings in the remote Iles de la Madeleine region of Quebec. Raised in a devoutly Catholic home, as a young girl Chiasson would make the long trek to Mass each Sunday and would listen, enthralled, as her grandmother talked about the saints, most particularly Joan of Arc (1412-31).

“Through Joan of Arc’s story, I learned about devotion, courage, going beyond our limits, France, the medieval times, women, the Catholic Church, the big schism, royalty . . .  all that was fascinating to me,” said Chiasson, wife of Toronto director Bruce McDonald.

Catholic Movie Reviews - 21 Jump Street, The Deep Blue Sea & A Thousand Words

This week's movie reviews feature the week's big release, the re-boot of the 1980s TV show 21 Jump Street, the new Eddie Murphy film and a look at Terence Davies' Deep Blue Sea.

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Getting to know Jesus from a Jewish perspective

Jesus was a Jew. Mary and Joseph were Jews. All 12 apostles were Jews. The first ecumenical council of the Church was held in Jerusalem in about 50 AD and everybody there was Jewish — even if they were there to decide what to do about non-Jewish followers of Jesus.

Very few of the people you meet at Sunday morning Mass are Jewish. Still, all these gentiles who surround us in church want nothing more than to know Jesus better. The Jewish Annotated New Testament is an invitation to do just that — know Jesus better.

Catholic movie reviews - John Carter & Silent House

Planning on a trip to the movies this weekend? We have reviews of a the year's first big blockbuster from Disney and a new horror starring Elizabeth Olsen.

God's Word: New exhibit shows Bible's evolution, beauty, perseverance

VATICAN CITY - Desecration, censorship, the ravages of time and even nesting mice have been unable to destroy the word of God, handed down for millennia by people of faith.

The endurance of sacred Scripture is the centerpiece of a new interfaith exhibit called Verbum Domini, which brings to the Vatican rare biblical texts and artifacts spanning a period from the third century B.C. to the 17th century.

"We seek to tell the amazing story of the preservation and translation of the most loved, most debated and the best-selling book every year and of all time," said Steve Green, an entrepreneur and the primary benefactor of The Green Collection, a private collection of more than 40,000 biblical antiquities.

A Pope’s story through a brother’s eyes

ROME - Recounting their rural Bavarian childhood and subsequent lifelong friendship, the elder brother of Pope Benedict XVI offers a privileged look at the personal side of the spiritual leader of 1.3 billion Catholics.

My Brother the Pope, published March 1 by Ignatius Press, is based on interviews with Msgr. Georg Ratzinger by German writer Michael Hesemann and was originally published in German last year.

Catholic movie reviews - The Lorax, Project X, Tyler Perry's Good Deeds & more

Looking for a movie this weekend? We've got reviews of five of the week's new releases for you.

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Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

Vatican Secret Archives marks 400th anniversary with Rome exhibit

ROME - Working with the city of Rome, the Vatican Secret Archives is celebrating its 400th anniversary with an exhibit designed to shed light not only on its holdings, but on some of the myth and mystery surrounding its collection of millions of documents.

"Lux in Arcana: The Vatican Secret Archives Reveals Itself" opened at Rome's Capitoline Museum Feb. 29 and is scheduled to remain open until Sept. 9.

Vatican archives' officials and exhibit curators said about a hundred original documents are being displayed outside the Vatican for the first time.

Reaching across the Israeli-Palestinian divide with Salt+Light's new documentary

TORONTO - Fr. Tom Rosica knows he’s going to get letters. You don’t wade into the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis expecting bouquets of roses.

Controversy has never been a hallmark of Salt + Light TV. Since its launch in the wake of World Youth Day 2002, Rosica has consciously shaped the digital broadcaster as a voice of hope — clear, Catholic evangelism without the rancor, resentments or fear that so often mar religious television.

Despite efforts at balanced, just-the-facts reporting, Salt + Light’s next big documentary will elicit partisan passion for and against Israel, for and against the Palestinian leadership, when it airs later this year.

Catholic movie reviews - Wanderlust, Act of Valor, Ghost Rider II & Coriolanus

With the oscars this weekend, everyone's mind is on the movies.

And if you're thinking of heading to see some of this week's new releases then check out our reviews below.

Catholic movie reviews - This Means War & Disney's The Secret World of Arriety

Looking to see a movie this weekend? We've got reviews of two of the weekend's biggest releases - This Means War and Studio Ghibli's The Secret World of Arriety.

Messenger of the Sacred Heart won’t give up, and neither will its editor

TORONTO - In 1966 Fr. Frederick Power, S.J., was assigned to be the editor of Canada’s longest running Catholic magazine. He was 42 years old and had no idea that he’d still be at the helm 46 years later. But earlier this month, the 500th edition of Canadian Messenger of the Sacred Heart was published under Power’s stewardship.

Power will turn 88 in May but says he has no plans to step down from the magazine that has been continuously published since 1891. Asked if he has worked out a succession plan for his retirement, the venerable editor smiled and said: “I’m working on it.” In 1997, when he passed the 31-year tenure of a previous editor, he thought: “I might as well keep going.”

Since every saint has a story, artist Caruso will try to tell it

RICHMOND HILL, Ont. - Artist Antonio Caruso’s Catholic faith has influenced him from a very young age. And as a sculptor and painter, it has had a strong impact on the artist he became and the various religious subjects he pursues.

Growing up in a very religious family in Italy, he lost his father when he was only 13 years old.

“But I always had visions of my father through Jesus,” said Caruso, who moved to Canada permanently with his family in 1995. The artist now lives in Woodbridge, Ont.