Marian Devotion since, well, just take a look at how old the blog is.

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August 9, 2020

Craig Lodge Family House of Prayer

Filed under: Audio and Video,Catholic Devotions,Catholic News,Music — Fr. John Larson @ 12:07 am

As we return to normal (or not) during this time, I have to note that livestreaming among Catholics has increased exponentially within this year, and we Marians have found the level of interest rather amazing. We are getting lots of first-time visitors here at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy thanks to livestreaming of Masses, chaplets, etc.

One place that has been doing livestreaming, but not getting all that many viewers, is the internationally known Craig Lodge Family House of Prayer. Perhaps part of the reason is that only 2,467 people like their Facebook page. They have a YouTube channel, but once again, not all that many viewers, and only 290 subscribers.

Yet, if you’ve heard of Mary’s Meals, you have indirectly heard of Craig Lodge.

The people that founded it are the parents of Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow. He founded Mary’s Meals.

It boggles my mind that it is so obscure, but then again, it’s in the middle of nowhere in Scotland.

I’ve never been there, but fellow Marian Fr. Donald Calloway has.

I include a sample of Praise and Worship from their YouTube channel.

and also a short video of a conversion testimony produced by Craig Lodge:

• • •

January 1, 2018

Best Films?

Filed under: Audio and Video — Fr. John Larson @ 4:08 pm

It’s not unusual to see a “best films list” these days. So, why not do one myself?

I’m thinking here of films that have a message that is worth paying attention to.

Although some of these are fairly big movies, they are not Casablanca or Lawrence of Arabia. I am trying to look at movies that may not be on the radar of the average viewer.

1. Sergeant York

A pacifist sharpshooter during World War I? It’s a true story that could not have been made up, and full of Christian themes. The 100th anniversary of the events depicted occurs in 2018.

2. Call Northside 777

Another true story (with a few Catholic themes) that is quite gripping, and of course, has Jimmy Stewart.

3. Captains Courageous (1937)
I have decided not to include the trailer, because this movie is best seen without knowing anything about the story. Once again, Catholic themes come up, especially in the end.

4. The Human Comedy (1943)

The modern movie Little Boy has some similar themes, but this great old film is such a testament to a time when war was raging and uncertainty was still in the air, but eternal truths were also in the air.

5. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
I decided against posting the trailer here, because once again, I think it’s a great movie to go into without a clue as to what is going to happen. But here, with John Wayne calling Jimmy Stewart a “pilgrim,” is a movie that is quite funny and quite serious, as only John Ford could make.

It so happens that every one of these films is in black and white, but that is not intentional. There are plenty of great movies down through the years. These are some I think might be a bit neglected.

• • •

June 21, 2016

Catholic Documentaries

Filed under: Audio and Video,Catholic News — Fr. John Larson @ 2:42 am

I’ve decided to highlight two Catholic documentaries I’ve seen recently. One that is quite touching is La Mama: An American Nun’s Life in a Mexican Prison. Here a clip from the beginning of the documentary:

The story is quite amazing. Antonia Brenner (1926-2013) shows such a particular charism–something that this one woman achieved, and that was her unique response to a difficult situation.

Another person who has made a huge difference, yet never really intended to is Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, who’s Mary’s Meals literally feeds over a million children. Learn the story, if you never have, by watching the complete documentary online: Child 31.

Each of these gives hope. One person can make a big difference. Cooperating with the will of God is not just transformative for the individual, but it can touch many, many lives.

• • •

August 27, 2015

Max and Me

Filed under: Audio and Video,Saints and Blesseds — Fr. John Larson @ 5:08 pm

If you’ve seen the CGI movie The Greatest Miracle, then you know Dos Corazones films. The CGI in that movie was somewhat primative, but they have boosted their efforts for their next movie: Max and Me. This will interweave a modern story with the story of St. Maximillian Kolbe.

Although there is not a trailer at present, there is a news story online with some clips.

Let’s pray it turns out well. The movie is scheduled for release in 2016.

• • •

June 26, 2015

Alessandra di Rudinì (1876-1932)

Filed under: Audio and Video — Fr. John Larson @ 12:03 am

Her story is filled with intensity. I don’t think it would make a good movie. It would have to be a miniseries.

A radio drama was made about her, but it only gives a small taste of her life, and alters some of the facts. It can be found as an episode of the Ave Maria Hour.

But here’s a little summary:

Born of noble lineage, she grows up a rich spoiled brat. Her mother puts her in a Catholic boarding school in Rome at the age of 10, but she is, essentially, kicked out after a year because of the terrible tricks she plays on other students. If you’ve seen The Trouble with Angels, she would have made the pranks of those girls look rather tame in comparison.

Her father had no love for the Church. The mother grew ill and was in a nursing home. Alessandra grew up on the estate. She had a crisis of faith, and eventually lost her faith.

She married an Italian nobleman at the age of 18 and lived on his family estate. She had two sons.

Her husband died young. She moved about in the “high life” circles. She ended up living with a famous Italian poet named Gabriele d’Annunzio, who was famous for his womanizing. He tired of her, and she was back on her own again.

She was in communication with a priest, but had very little faith. He told her to go to Lourdes. She happened to be there when the most miraculous cure of the year happened, and the office of medical investigations was working on the case. She regained her faith. Her sons, unfortunately, died of tuberculosis.

Eventually, she entered the Carmel of Paray-le-Monial in France, and years later became the mother superior.

A longer summary is at this site.

• • •

February 11, 2015

78 RPM

Filed under: Audio and Video,hobbies — Fr. John Larson @ 3:05 pm

That Emile Berliner really started something with his “gramophone.” Recently I got a “Premium Gramophone,” which is a kit from Japan that allows one to play 78 RPM records in a way very similar to the early days of Berliner’s gramophone, an image of which was used on the RCA label for a long time (now owned by Sony).

78 RPM records help one to understand the history of music, at least for a little over 100 years. There have been lots of trends and shifts in style, but sometimes I think they were more clever in the early days with novel uses of language (an old Jazz piece is called “Celery Stalks at Midnight”). Yes, problems like racism show up in these old discs, but also the value of prayer is prominent, even in some pop tunes. They had their pluses and minuses.

We are more advanced technologically, but our new-fangled forms need electricity. The old gramophone just needs lots of needles and energy from the hand to turn a crank. There’s a certain refreshing “newness” to this liberation from the grid, even if sound quality ain’t all that great. There are definitely things to learn from the old discs and the completely mechanical process of sound reproduction. Sometimes things don’t have to be as complicated as you think they do.

The picture below shows the gramophone playing a Columbia Symphony Series 12 inch record–with a great looking label from the 1910s era.

• • •

September 15, 2014

Vatican Radio Roku Private Channel

Filed under: Audio and Video,Catholic News — Fr. John Larson @ 9:15 pm

I built a private Roku channel for listening to some Vatican Radio podcasts in English–namely, the morning and evening news reports and the latest Lauds, Vespers, and Compline in Latin.

It is very primitive. It shows up as “My Channel.” No frills here, it just gets the job done.

Private Channel code: MZZNE

• • •

April 2, 2014

WAOB — We Are One Body Catholic Radio

Filed under: Audio and Video,Catholic News — Fr. John Larson @ 6:24 pm

This station, heard in the Pittsburgh area, is also available to listen to online. It has a unique approach to radio, particularly because it uses “dead air” as meditation time.

A number of priests (including yours truly) do hours of Scripture meditation, which are generally broadcast live at 8 PM and then repeated overnight and sometimes at other times during the day. Each hour generally consists of 4 scripture passages (usually a chapter each) and then some meditations after each one. The brief meditations then leave a minute of silence for the person listening to pray and meditate. These minutes of silence would be seen as terrible blunders at practically all radio stations, but not WAOB. I don’t know any other station that would attempt this. Sometimes the meditations are done by yours truly on Tuesday nights.

Also, there are half hour broadcasts of readings from various Doctors of the Church, with some brief meditations on the writings. I can be heard sometimes reading from the writings of St. Lawrence of Brindisi on Wednesdays at 1 PM Eastern.

• • •

February 12, 2014

Over 10 Years???

Filed under: Audio and Video,hobbies — Fr. John Larson @ 8:39 pm

Can it be that this blog is now over 10 years old? Yes… but how could this be?

Ten years ago I was a brother in the Marians and student at the Dominican House of Studies blogging about the soon to-be-released movie The Passion of the Christ. There was a lot of controversy surrounding it even before it was released in theaters.

But, that’s already 10 years ago…

As an unusual aside (and total non sequitur), 70 years ago today, a radio program starring Groucho Marx called “Pabst Blue Ribbon Town” did a skit about what life might be like 100 years in the future (in other words, 2044). You can listen to said episode here: Groucho Marx on Pabst Blue Ribbon Town.

• • •

December 29, 2013

Mary’s Meals

Filed under: Audio and Video,Catholic News — Fr. John Larson @ 5:54 pm

It’s hard to not want to promote this group. They are doing some incredible work. Yes, to give one decent meal to over 700,000 children a day–children that would otherwise struggle to get that meal, that often suffer from hunger–is quite an accomplishment. It’s a very simple program, yet it makes a huge impact. A number of videos explaining it are online. Here’s a 6 minute introductory video:

Mary’s Meals USA – The Difference A Meal Makes from Mary's Meals on Vimeo.

Here’s an interview on “The Choices We Face” with the founder. This gives lots of information.

Mary’s Meals – Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow from Renewal Ministries on Vimeo.

Here’s the complete movie done by Grassroots Films called “Child 31.” It’s quite powerful, although not as informative as the interview, so I recommend watching the interview first.

Finally, here’s the US website for Mary’s Meals: Mary’s Meals USA.

P.S. If you need some encouragement to learn more about this, perhaps a message from Celine Dion will help:

• • •

September 24, 2013

Gianna Jessen

Filed under: Audio and Video — Fr. John Larson @ 9:14 pm

Abortion survivor Gianna Jessen gives a talk in 2012.

• • •

September 6, 2013

Mary of Nazareth

Filed under: Audio and Video,Catholic News,Saints and Blesseds — Fr. John Larson @ 2:30 pm

I was able to see some of the edited English edition of this Lux Vide production. It is indeed quite impressive, but needed the editing from the original miniseries format.

Ignatius Press has a Webpage dedicated to it now: Mary of Nazareth.

• • •

July 28, 2013

WYD 2013 Archived Video

Filed under: Audio and Video,Catholic News — Fr. John Larson @ 11:50 pm

Ok, now that it’s over, where are all the hours and hours of videos?

Youtube has Hi-Def videos but without any added translations at the Vatican Channel.

For videos with some English translations, but other times no translations, go to the archive at WYDCentral. The last half of the Canadian Gathering is actually an international gathering of Catholic musicians from around the world, and it continues into the Papal Welcoming Celebration. Some things overlap from one video to the next.

Enjoy…

• • •

April 28, 2013

Dion the Wanderer

Filed under: Audio and Video,Catholic News,Music — Fr. John Larson @ 4:09 pm

I just read Dion the Wanderer Talks Truth, and I would defeinitely recommend the book.

Here’s a Bookmark episode with an interview with Dion DiMucci.

• • •

December 27, 2012

Free American History Lessons

Filed under: Audio and Video — Fr. John Larson @ 12:53 am

… on old time radio shows.

The Cavalcade of America was a show that ran for many years on radio and presented plenty of scenes of American history. There are a number of episodes that deal with Abraham Lincoln, as you might expect. There are also shows that deal with, for instance, the history of Baseball or Davy Crockett. Some of the episodes broadcast during World War II have a “recent events” war theme. A list of many shows and links to the mp3 files is at archive.org.

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