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  • Amid church's abuse crisis, music can unite the faithful, says composer
    IJAMSVILLE, Md. (CNS) — "How can we pray when we feel betrayed?"
  • WASHINGTON (CNS) — Mergers and consolidations marked 2018 in the media world.
  • Arts contest open
    Family Rosary is calling for entries for the 2019 "Try Prayer! It Works!" contest. The national competition encourages children to express their beliefs through art, poetry, prose and a new category this year: video. The competition is open to students in Grades K-12 enrolled in Catholic schools, religious education programs, parishes and other organizations, including home schooling.
  • Catholic school graduate has role in pro-life film 'Unplanned'
    WILMINGTON, Del. (CNS) — Maura Corsini, who graduated four years ago from a Catholic high school in Delaware, has landed a role in the upcoming film "Unplanned," which tells the story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood administrator who converted to the pro-life movement.
  • The beauty in our churches
    Pope Benedict XVI once said that the most convincing demonstration of the church’s truth is the beauty it creates. 
  • Appreciating creation through beans
    The nutty aroma of coffee fills The Press, the bookstore and coffeeshop at Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary. The smell isn’t unusual here. It is a coffeeshop after all. But this smell is different — it’s fresh. The sound of popping comes from a small, microwave-sized coffee roasting machine sitting on a table. Brody Stewart tinkers with the machine, adjusting its temperature, so his beans don’t get burnt.
  • From Mountains High: Contemporary Catholic Music 1970-1985
    On the heels of a book about the 1960s folk Mass movement, Canedo has told the story of the coming of age of contemporary Catholic music.
  • Downtown Jacksonville epitomizes Christmas festive with its garlands of natural greens and twinkling lights. The city holds an annual Victorian Christmas, which includes Jolly Holly Trolley rides and a parade. (Tara Fisher/Courtesy Jacksonville Oregon Chamber of Commerce & Business Association)
    With an infusion of holiday cheer that would make the Grinch cringe, Jacksonville transports visitors to festive, 19th-century streets during its annual Victorian Christmas.
  • Providence White Caps: The Diary of Bernice Lorang, R.N.
    Lorang takes readers through the life of a young woman in the 1940s who trains to be and then becomes a nurse for Providence Hospital in Portland. 
  • Death by Minivan
    The title is rife with intrigue. How does one die by minivan? That’s the beauty of this book. In the Catholic faith, dying to self is done to allow the Lord to work to fill the void left by metaphorical death. Nowhere was this truer for author Renshaw than when she — a mother adamantly opposed to owning such a vehicle — had to purchase a minivan for her growing family. 
  • A Walk to Garabandal
    It’s at once a travelogue and a mystery — complete with enigmatic, beautiful women and miracles, memorable Spanish dishes, and plenty of vino blanco. 
  • 26 Ordinary Ways to Live the Liturgy
    “Sing at Mass. Just do it. Loudly.”
  • Encore: Schindler's List
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The tortured, troubling — yet in the end, uplifting — story of a German risking his life to save some Polish Jews from Nazi death camps is recounted in "Schindler's List" (Universal).
  • Conversational dialogues offer insights into Pope Francis' views
    Two new collections of conversations with Pope Francis illuminate his vision for the church in the 21st century.
  • Of Horses and Riders and Sounds of Trumpets
    A Benedictine Oblate of Mount Angel Abbey and an attorney who lives in Beaverton, Reel has written his best collection of poems to date. 
  • Catholic High School presents Arthurian romance
    SALEM — St. John Bosco High School in Salem presents an original adaptation of C.M. Lewis’s poem “Gawayne and the Green Knight, A Fairy Tale” on stage at St. Joseph School at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14. Admission is free, and refreshments will be served. 
  • Timber Truckers Parade from Riddle to Myrtle Creek
    Portland may have its Christmas ships plying the Willamette, but southwest Oregon celebrates a venerable timber tradition with an annual parade of logging trucks lit up brightly enough to be seen from orbit. 
  • Buzz on film on CUA-alum pianist prompts look at Shirley's college years
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — Little-known fact: Classical-influenced jazz pianist Don Shirley, the focus of the new movie "Green Book," was a graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington.
  • Collection of essays chronicles search for order through two decades
    Since Michael Novak's death in early 2017, the undisputed title of most influential Catholic neoconservative has belonged to George Weigel. Along with Novak and the late Father Richard John Neuhaus, Weigel has been at the center of a style of spiritual-political engagement that found its apogee in the papacy of St. John Paul II and the presidency of George W. Bush.
  • Louisiana Catholic school partners with SPCA for novel reading program
    MARRERO, La. (CNS) — It's a match made in canine heaven.
  • 'Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland,' Dec. 3, HBO
    NEW YORK (CNS) — On July 10, 2015, Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia stopped 28-year-old African-American motorist Sandra Bland in Prairie View, Texas, for a routine traffic violation. The Chicago resident was found dead in her Waller County jail cell the morning of July 13.
  • ‘The Christmas Chronicles,' streaming, Netflix
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Given that much of its content is geared toward mature audiences, it comes as a pleasant surprise when Netflix produces programming aimed at younger viewers as well as grown-ups. Likable, spirited, if somewhat prosaic, "The Christmas Chronicles" is a case in point. 
  • The Possession of Hannah Grace
    NEW YORK (CNS) — If you take a job working the night shift at a morgue, the least you can expect is a little peace and quiet. According to the dreary horror tale "The Possession of Hannah Grace" (Screen Gems), however, such tranquility is not necessarily guaranteed.
  • As choir, Pauline sisters share gift of music, their joy as religious
    ST. LOUIS (CNS) — Ask Pauline Sister Nancy Usselmann whether she sang in high school at Cor Jesu Academy or had a musical background, and her answer is short and simple.
  • 'The Kominsky Method,' streaming on Netflix
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Chuck Lorre, the creator of some of this century's more popular sitcoms ("The Big Bang Theory," "Two and a Half Men") has come to Netflix with a new comedy "The Kominsky Method."
  • Robin Hood
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Someone behind "Robin Hood" (Summit) — presumably one or both of the screenwriters, Ben Chandler and David James Kelly — has mommy issues with Holy Mother Church. As a result, vicious anti-Catholicism permeates this otherwise merely dopey take on the classic legend.
  • Creed II
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Moviegoers under 33 take note: You had yet to be born when "Rocky IV," the 1985 film that hovers in the background of the sports drama "Creed II" (MGM), was released.
  • UP presents free choral Christmas vespers concert
    The University Singers and the Women’s Chorale will ring in the holiday season with a selection of traditional songs at the Choral Christmas Vespers Concert Saturday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m., in the Chapel of Christ the Teacher at the University of Portland. 
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The burly demolition specialist who lent his name to 2012's "Wreck-It Ralph" returns to the big screen in the sweet animated follow-up "Ralph Breaks the Internet" (Disney). So too does the best friend he acquired in the first outing, diminutive race car driver Vanellope von Schweetz.
  • 'Homeless Jesus' sculpture finds home outside Rio de Janeiro's cathedral
    RIO DE JANEIRO (CNS) — Cardinal Orani Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro blessed the sculpture "Homeless Jesus" Nov. 18, ending a weeklong series of events by Brazil's Catholic Church to celebrate World Day of the Poor.
  • Books provide good introductions to saintly pope, venerable archbishop
    When it comes to quoting popes, homilists and workshop speakers often choose words from Pope Francis, St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII to make their point.
  • Response varies to Polish film's fictional portrayal of priestly life
    WARSAW, Poland (CNS) — As a film that portrays priests as corrupt and willingly engaging in debauchery breaks box office records in Poland, most leaders of the country's predominant Catholic Church have avoided comment on its salacious portrayal of the clergy.
  • Widows
    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Well-crafted but gritty, the Chicago-set heist drama "Widows" (Fox) would be acceptable for at least a few adults if it did not ultimately send the message that, at least when the stakes are sufficiently high, the ends justify the means.
  • Vatican opens doors to Russian 'spiritual' masterpieces for winter show
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In another example of the "diplomacy of art," the Vatican inaugurated a landmark exhibit of "spiritual" masterpieces from Moscow's famed Tretyakov Gallery and other state galleries in Russia.
  • Green Book
    NEW YORK (CNS) — "Green Book" (Universal) opens with a singer in the Copacabana nightclub in New York belting out "That Old Black Magic." Therein lies its flaw.
  • All educated Catholics could benefit from new biblical commentary
    This excellent volume represents a major accomplishment in Catholic biblical scholarship in the 21st century. It summarizes biblical scholarship for those who “turn to the Scriptures in their ministry: preachers, religious educators, teachers, liturgy planners, spiritual directors,” and those who fill numerous roles in parishes and dioceses, in other words the educated laity.
  • Notre Dame band members strike chord with concert and connect generations
    INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) — Annie Hill and Allie Braschler usually perform in front of 80,000 cheering, clapping and screaming fans in one of the most well-known football stadiums in the world.
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
    NEW YORK (CNS) — For a film about magic, 2016's "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" was strangely lacking in enchantment. So it's welcome news that the follow-up, "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" (Warner Bros.) is sharper and more engaging, though defects remain.
  • 'The Little Drummer Girl,' Nov. 19, AMC
    NEW YORK (CNS) — A 1993 novel by John le Carre, famed for his tales of espionage, served as the basis for AMC's 2016 miniseries "The Night Manager."
  • Special delivery: Vatican Christmas stamps feature inmate's art
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As the Christmas season draws near, the Vatican postal service prepared a unique set of commemorative stamps designed by a talented, yet unlikely, artist: a prisoner serving a life sentence.
  • Novel's plot devices as old as fiction itself
    The novel "Anyone but Him" is labeled on its cover "a new adult mystery romance". While it is admittedly new, its plot devices are as old as fiction itself. The story concerns a young woman, Caitlyn Summer, who awakes one morning not knowing who she is or where she is or who is the man sharing her bed.
  • Encore: Panama: a 'gastronomic Babel' with worldwide influences
    PANAMA CITY (CNS) — With its strategic location between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, Panama has long been a crossroads for travelers and goods from all over the world.
  • Overlord
    NEW YORK (CNS) — When it comes to disturbing sights, "Overlord" (Paramount), let it be said from the start, sometimes goes overboard. This weird, wild but surprisingly effective blend of war story and chiller from director Julius Avery is thus far too gory and gruesome for most moviegoers.
  • Beautiful Boy
    NEW YORK (CNS) — What "Beautiful Boy" (Amazon) captures best about the raw pain of drug dependency is the sheer randomness of it.
    Addiction is not only not a moral failing, it happens in what used to be called "the best of families." Unfortunately, this very legitimate insight translates here into a tone of smugness.
  • The Girl in the Spider's Web
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Claire Foy, celebrated for her recent portrayal of the young Elizabeth II on the Netflix series "The Crown," takes on a similarly named but much less stately persona as the title character in "The Girl in the Spider's Web" (Columbia).
  • Dr. Seuss' The Grinch
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Somewhere Theodor Geisel may be spinning in his grave over the latest treatment of one of his most famous character creations, "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch" (Universal). If so, he's only revolving gently.
  • 'Mars,' Nov. 12, National Geographic Channel
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Two years after its November 2016 debut, the limited-series docudrama "Mars" returns to cable's National Geographic Channel for its sophomore campaign.
  • 'Instant Family' an instant hit with target audience
    NEW YORK (CNS) — The connections between real-life events and the forthcoming film "Instant Family" were the main topic of discussion at a recent news conference about the comedy.
  • Silver Falls State Park
    Oregon is packed with awe-inspiring locations and amazing sights, especially in its state parks. Silver Falls State Park is one such magical locale that is gorgeous to visit at any time, but is especially lovely when fall foliage takes hold. Imagine yourself surrounded by colorful deciduous arbor, winding down the park’s trails past a series of cascading waterfalls. 
  • Edifying biographies highlight stories of brave contemporary Catholics
    The newest entries in Liturgical Press' People of God series, these books offer accessible, edifying biographies that are the hallmark of the excellent series. In engaging and incisive narratives they tell the personal and public stories of two contemporary martyrs who have been proposed for canonization.
  • Nobody's Fool
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Writer-director Tyler Perry goes raunchy with the romantic comedy "Nobody's Fool" (Paramount). The vulgar film that results traffics in a flippant, degraded view of human sexuality.
  • Bowling: Classic fun for soggy days
    Sometimes hipster retro cool goes underground. Like, for example, the Viking Gameroom at Portland State University. Open since 1962, the bowling alley is in the basement of the university’s student union. 
  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
    NEW YORK (CNS) — German author E.T.A. Hoffmann's tale "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" has proven a remarkably rich bit of source material since its initial publication in 1816.
  • Video looks at religion's redemptive role on imprisoned gang members
    WASHINGTON (CNS) — While researching a video project on gangs in El Salvador in 2015, freelance journalist Danny Gold stopped to talk to a guard who told him how a prison group with little to look forward to had found a positive path forward in life — and it involved religion.
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Rami Malek gives himself completely to the role of Freddie Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody" (Fox), director Bryan Singer's biopic of the lead singer of the rock group Queen, with impressive artistic results.
  • A saint in the making
    There are moments of recognition for anyone watching “All or Nothing,” the documentary about Sister Clare Crockett, an Irish Servant Sister of the Home of the Mother. The realization begins as a musing thought that grows until most viewers — Catholic or not — understand that this is what a saint looks like.
  • 'The Haunting of Hill House,' streaming, Netflix
    NEW YORK (CNS) — Horror master Stephen King has been raving on social media about Netflix's limited series "The Haunting of Hill House," and he's not alone. It's one of the best reviewed new offerings of the fall.