Archive for July, 2011

When it comes to priests, they don’t make them much cooler than Jesuit Father James Martin of America Magazine. He’s become famous for his appearances on The Colbert Report with comedian Stephen Colbert and his books, My Life with the Saints and A Jesuit Guide To (Almost) Everything. Colbert, a catechist at his home parish, regularly mixes in some Catholic catechesis with his biting satire. Father Martin and Colbert are helping make Catholicism cool for 21st century young adults who might not know the faith.

I got to sit down with Father Martin, along with fellow Catholic Review reporter George Matysek, for an interview July 29 at St. Ignatius in Baltimore. Below are some photos from a book signing, along with some audio from our interview.

More is coming. Father Martin had a lot to say in what was one of my favorite interviews ever.

This is just too cool not to share. Father Austin Murphy, director of vocations for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, delivered this homily to young people attending the High School Leadership Institute.

Few priests can weave messages of Harry Potter and Jesus so effortlessly.

So starting tonight, “it all ends here.”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 arrives in theaters at midnight. When I first started this blog, I had a bunch of Harry content, including an interview with author Nancy Brown about the series and Catholicism.
It’s amazing how quickly those nine months went by and that the conclusion is here. As someone who never read the books, I was left dangling at the end of Part 1, wondering who was going to survive and if Harry could find all the Horcruxes in time.
One of the things about getting hooked on a finite series of stories is that they have to end at some point. And, so, Harry’s journey will end for many around 2:45 a.m. tonight.
You have to respect what the producers and writer J.K. Rowling were able to accomplish during the last 14 years. Rowling made an entire generation of kids read, while the producers matched people’s expectations by gambling on 10 year olds 10 years ago. The actors grew into their roles and came to define them.
Young people grew up with Harry, like they did Andy from Toy Story.
The Vatican newspaper said this week that Deathly Hallows champions values.
The line between good and evil was always drawn pretty well during the series. The value of sacrifice through pain is there from the start. As Harry always says, he has something worth fighting for.
Harry inspired others as an infant, even when he didn’t realize it. He grew into his role and became a hero for it. He could have turned away at any moment.
We, his audience, are thankful he was always been there to save the day. We’ll miss you, Harry.

Share you thoughts on the Deathly Hallows in the comments section!

All Photos from www.jasonprezant.comRavens quarterback Joe Flacco was married a few weeks ago to his high school sweetheart, Dana. Turns out it was at New Jersey’s Church of the Holy Saviour. It also looks like Ozzie Newsome should sign Dana to solve some center-QB exchange issues.
Check out these photos from his wedding photographer!
All photos from

Hollywood doesn’t think much of the Millennial Generation. Well, it’s not necessarily all of Hollywood, just some screenwriters who put words in the mouths of actors. Still, it’s got me thinking especially after seeing Transformers: Dark of the Moon during July 4 weekend.
I headed out to the theater to watch robots demolish one another for two and a half hours and got caught up in a throw-away line by the main character’s parents. Sam Witwicky, the protagonist of all three Transformer movies, is struggling to find a job post-college. When his parents get wind of it, they’re mightily disappointed. Their son has saved the world twice and received a medal from the President of the United States, but he can’t land a job?
“He is a Millennial,” Sam’s mother says to his father. “They are the lost generation.”
No matter what Sam does, he still can’t impress his Baby Boomer parents. It’s an odd bit of social commentary by the writer and perhaps director Michael Bay, whose films normally have the depth of the neighborhood kiddie pool.
Earlier in the spring, I caught the very R-rated Scream 4, a movie about a killer running loose in Woodsboro, the town ravaged by a killer 15 years prior. The previous generation and the current one collide. Without giving anything away, the movie just lets loose on the selfish, look-at-me stereotypes of Millennials. If there’s anything you take away from the movie, it’s that Millennials will do anything for attention and throw aside anyone in their way. Everything and everyone is disposable.
Activist groups always complain about how a group is portrayed – be it race, religion or sex.
No one’s going to stand up for Millennials because the target is going to get hit in some way.
One of the problems I encountered writing my Millennial series for The Catholic Review was that I knew that no matter what numbers I threw out there from Pew Research polling, it was casting a really wide net. What works for some kids in the suburbs doesn’t necessarily apply to a kid living in urban America. There’s no way they all have the same outlook. Still, it’s amazing to me how casually such opinions of Millennials are thrown out there in big movies, especially because young people are the bread and butter audience of such movies like Transformers and Scream. It felt like it was biting the hand that feeds it.