Daily Perspectives: Tues. April 15, 2015

Tonight on Perspectives: Pope Francis wishes all Jews a happy Passover, and prays for those affected by the wildfire in Valparaiso, Chile.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Gobierno de Chile

Perspectives Daily – Mon. April 14, 2014

Today on Perspectives, Palm Sunday Mass with Pope Francis, appointments at the Vatican and a look at the Francis Effect.

Centre of renewal

Brother Emile first heard of Taizé in 1974 in his small hometown in Northern Ontario where there was not much to interest young people in Christianity. Accepting an invitation to visit the little community tucked in Burgandy, France, he rediscovered the Christian faith that had been part of his childhood, but that he had abandoned as a young teenager. He entered the community in 1976 and stayed! Watch this hour-long WITNESS interview for wonderful insights into this renowned ecumenical community where the practices of monastic life – prayer, work, and hospitality, as well as the commitments the brothers make: celibacy, pooling of goods, and the ministry of Christian unity- form the foundation of one of the greatest centres of renewal and hope in the Church and in the world.

Perspectives Daily – Thurs. April 10, 2014

Today on Perspectives, Vatican conference on ending human trafficking, daily mass with Pope Francis and questions of religious freedom in Myanmar.

Perspectives Daily – April 9, 2014

Today on Perspectives, Pope Francis’ weekly general audience, the Court of the Gentiles in Washington and Toronto holds its Day of Confessions.

Perspectives Daily – Tues. April 8, 2014

Today on Perspectives, Pope Francis appoints a new Bishop for the Diocese of Peterborough, daily mass from Domus Sanctae Marthae and a look at prayer in lent.

Perspectives Daily – Mon. April 7, 2014

Today on Perspectives, Pope Francis’ weekly Angelus address and a visit to a Roman Parish, a Dutch Jesuit is assassinated in Syria and a Ukrainian Catholic Church in Brampton is destroyed.

In Her Footsteps at the JP2IIFF

Tomorrow,  April 2 we celebrate the 9th anniversary of the death of Bl. Pope John Paul II. The next day, is day-one of this year’s John Paul II International Film Festival, which has been taking place every year since 2009 in Miami, Florida.

The inter-faith Festival is inspired by Pope John Paul II’s invitation to promote Love, Truth, Unity, and Human Dignity though the use of film and media, and features filmmakers from around the world in an effort to enrich the mainstream film industry with works that highlight the beauty of our humanity.

Because of his love of the arts and to his deep understanding of the arts, Pope John Paul II wrote a letter in 1999 encouraging artists of all kinds and faiths to use their talents to uplift society, to teach and preach human dignity, and unveil the mystery of Man and God alike. The JP2IFF was founded 10 years later as an answer to this invitation and to challenge filmmakers and the community to do the same: To use their gifts to create a deeper understanding of our human race, no matter what our religious, cultural, or economic background may be.

Every year the festival has a theme. Past themes have been “Faith Through the Storm” (2009), “Mystery of Love” (2011) and “Revelation” (2012). This year’s theme is “Inspiration”, taken directly from JPII’s Letter to Artists. In it he wrote:

What is the affinity between the words ‘breath – breathing’ and ‘inspiration’? The Spirit is the mysterious Artist of the universe. I would hope that all artists might receive in abundance the gift of that creative inspiration which is the starting point of every true work of art.

It’s no surprise that people all over hunger for meaning, and more and more we turn to the TV and to cineplexes looking for meaning. It’s clear that film has the power to inspire like no other medium. I can think of the many films that have been imprinted on me; that have moved me, challenging me to be the best version of myself. Film can also capture beauty like no other medium. Inspiration is the taking in of beauty, allowing it to transform you. At its best, a film’s beauty can leave a lasting imprint on the human character.

And not just this year, but every year the JP2IFF presents films that inspire us, films that reveal such splendid beauty that we are compelled to breathe in their message, allowing it to transform our thoughts, feelings, and give us something new to exhale into the world.

This is also our hope here at Salt + Light. In 2009 among the Festival’s selections was the S+L TV production, Road of Hope: The Spiritual Journey of Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan. This year, among the many feature length and short dramatic and documentary films from Ecuador, France, Germany, Iran, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, South America, Spain, the UK and the U.S. the S+L TV production In Her Footsteps: The Story of Kateri Tekakwitha has been selected for the festival.

Among other selected feature films are: Francis: The Pope from the New World (The Knights of Columbus); Gimme Shelter (Day Twenty-Eight Films) and Heaven Is For Real (Tri-Star). In the short film category, the Canadian The Mary Contest by Vancouver’s Teresa McGee, has also been selected.

The 10-day Festival runs from April 3-12, 2014 and includes not just film screenings, but also panel discussions, professional seminars, and multi-cultural music and art events.

I’d like to encourage all of you who are in the Miami area, to support the festival and the films by attending. In doing so, you’ll be encouraging all these professional and up-and-coming filmmakers to better their craft. You’ll also be encouraging the making of films that share messages of hope, triumph and love and that uplift the spirit. You can purchase tickets and see the Festival schedule at the Festival’s website.

Perspectives Daily – Wed. April 2, 2014

Today on Perspectives, Pope Francis’ weekly general audience, the Ontario bishops hold their annual plenary assembly and the ninth anniversary of the passing of Blessed John Paul II.

Perspectives Daily: Tuesday April 1, 2014

Today on Perspectives, we look at one group of people in Virginia who rise with the sun to spend time with the Blessed Sacrament before they start their day. Pope Francis holds a two hour long meeting with the heads of Vatican departments, and we tell you about the April Fools jokes that caught church-watchers eyes today.