From the Vicar

August 27, 2017

This Monday is the feast of St. Augustine, who has long been recognized as one of the four principal doctors and fathers of the Western Church. Joining him in that honor are St. Gregory the Great, St. Jerome, and St. Ambrose.

After his conversion, St. Augustine wrote prodigiously. So much in fact, that any scholar that claims to have read all of his works is presumed to be a liar by his fellow academics. Although we would be hard pressed read even a greater part of his work, all Catholics should try at some point during their life at least to get through his Confessions.

Other works of note include The City of God, The Trinity, On Christian Doctrine, as well as endless letters, sermons, treatises against heretics, books on the spiritual life, Scriptural exegesis, apologetics, and philosophy.

August 20, 2017

As you know, in today’s world it continues to be increasingly difficult to screen movies for content incompatible with the life of virtue. All Catholics, however, are bound to observe due diligence in this regard, and this duty is especially incumbent upon those with children in the house. I want to share with you a few tools that many people have found helpful.

The first is www.kids-in-mind.com. This website is kept very current and has been very reliable. It rates movies based on three categories – purity, violence, and language – issuing a score from 0 to 10 for each. Below the movie summary and the score, the website lists details and explanations about each category. Here I would caution against reading the details for offenses against purity, unless you are certain this will not be a near occasion of sin for you. Instead it is probably better to simply look up a few movies you are familiar with and see what they are scored for purity, in order to get a proper sense of the number value given and what it means. On the other hand, the details for violence and language can be very helpful.

If for some reason the prior website doesn’t list a particular movie, sometimes it can be useful to consult the “Parents guide” linked to each movie overview in www.imdb.com. However, the above caveat regarding descriptions of impurity are still germane here. Finally, the website www.commonsensemedia.org can also be quite useful, and has the additional advantage of including information for television and other digital media, such as video games.

The final tool I suggest you look into, which was recommended to me by another priest, is www.vidangel.com. This is a filtering service for streaming content. If you are familiar with the older ClearPlay DVD player, VidAngel is very similar, except that it works with streaming over the internet instead of with a physical disk. Unfortunately VidAngel is currently embroiled in a difficult legal battle with several studios that sued them for violating their artistic license and copyrights, but after many months of being essentially offline, VidAngel has finally returned under a new business model. It now operates as a subscription service, charging $8 per month. It claims to be able to intercept Amazon Video and Netflix already, with other streaming services such as Vudu being added soon. I haven’t seen this newer model in operation, but a filtering service like this can be very useful for those that want to relax with their families without being troubled by inappropriate content. I encourage you to try it and let the priests know if it is helpful for you and your family.

God bless you,
Fr. Curtis

Categories Latest News | Tags: | Posted on August 27, 2017

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