WANT HOPE? STREAM ‘DOROTHY DAY’ NOW
DOING GOOD 1 PERSON AT A TIME—So many readers of our magazine are telling us that they truly feel a Spirit flowing through our Reading each week at ReadTheSpirit. That’s certainly true about our decision to feature an interview with filmmaker Martin Doblmeier about his new documentary: Revolution of the Heart—The Dorothy Day Story.
Dorothy Day’s core commitment to helping the people around her—even if that work seems insignificant or overwhelming—is a powerful message of hope during the COVID-19 crisis.
Also, our faith-and-film writer Ed McNulty has a complete review of the documentary—and, as always, Ed has added relevant resources to spark small-group discussions. If your small-group isn’t meeting in person during the COVID-19 crisis, consider streaming the film online—then use Ed’s prompts to spark a virtual discussion with your friends.
AND: You can stream this inspiring film, right now, from a link at the end of this brief Cover Story.
ONE FROM SUZY—
GodSigns—Columnist Suzy Farbman brings us stories of the remarkable men and women she meets in her travels, but this week she steps back to share some of her own spiritual insights in a column she calls: “Seeking divine intervention in a time of crisis.”
Suzy is among our many writers, editors and regular readers who have been sending us inspiring columns.
TWO MORE MARTINS—
PERHAPS IT’S A GOD SIGN? Our contributing columnist Martin Davis did not know we were featuring Martin Doblmeier as our Cover Story this week. However, Martin Davis was looking for spiritual signs of hope and emailed our home office to suggest we feature a link to a moving, personal column by our mutual friend James Martin, the Jesuit journalist. (We’ve recommended James Martin’s work for many years, including this 2011 column about his efforts to bring humor back to into the church.) This week, however, James Martin wrote in The New York Times on a serious note, headlined: Where Is God in a Pandemic? The honest answer is: We don’t know. But even non-Christians may find understanding in the life of Jesus. Thanks to all three Martins for casting bright rays of hope into the world this week!
And a JUDITH, TOO
Poet, author and award-winning journalist Judith Valente has been a good friend of our online community for many years, as well. Just one example is this 2018 piece Judith sent us about her book, How to Live—What the Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning, and Community, which is a great choice to read during the COVID-19 crisis. This week, Judith sent us a link to her latest column, headlined: Staying Positive in a Time of Crisis. Thanks Judith!
FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING Marketing Director Susan Stitt writes about the COVID-19 impact on publishing. Bottom line? Books still are shipping—which is great news for the millions of Americans stuck at home with extra time on their hands. This is a column you may want to share with a book-lover among your friends.
Holidays & Festivals
A MEMORABLE LENT
SPEAKING OF GOOD BOOKS … Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton reported on the start of Lent recently for 2 billion Christians: “With Lent quickly approaching and Easter on the horizon, Western Christians enter the season of repentance.” (Click to read more.) If you’re looking for an inspiring book to read day-by-day along your own Lenten journey this year, we recommend Our Lent: Things We Carry.
These 40 daily stories by David Crumm highlight 40 “things” that Jesus and his followers encountered in the final days of his life, which is the biblical story Christians remember as Easter approaches. Then, each chapter connects the Bible lesson with our own daily lives—as well as the lives of men and women who are celebrated in our culture, including the spiritual writer Thomas Merton, the actress and singer Judy Garland, the country musician Merle Haggard and even the beloved Cat in the Hat.
DISCOVER THE ANCIENT INDIAN EPIC—Stephanie Fenton reports: “With the birthday of Lord Rama on the horizon, millions of Hindus begin Ramayana Week to prepare for the occasion. During these auspicious days, devotees read the timeless epic, witness narrations of the exciting events in Rama’s life and fast for the deity.” In her column, you’ll also find links to stream colorful Indian TV series based on this ancient epic. Interested in learning more about world religions while you’re stuck at home? This holiday column is a great invitation.
Care to see all of our Holidays & Festivals columns? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com
FAITH & FILM
LIFT YOUR SPIRITS WITH STREAMING
ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.
Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are these 10 recommending movies that are guaranteed to lift your spirits—and are available for streaming right now via Amazon and/or Netflix. (Psst! This list of 10 actually recommends a full dozen films.)
- CHICAGO—This week, Ed reaches back to 2012 and republishes his review giving 4.5 stars to the musical Chicago starring Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger. (Rent on Amazon Prime)
- ROXIE HART—He features Chicago, this week, so that he can reach even further back—almost 80 years this time—to recommend a 1942 rendition of the Chicago tale co-starring Ginger Rogers and Adolphe Menjou, directed by the Oscar-winning director William Wellman. (Ed provides a link to stream this film free on YouTube)
- THE FORTY-FIRST—On the trail of free-to-stream cinematic gems, Ed also came up with a gripping Soviet-made feature The Fort-First, which won the USSR equivalent of the best-movie Oscar for 1956. (Ed provides a link to stream this film free on YouTube)
- A MAN NAMED OVE—“This quirky parable might be saying that Universe is not as cold and indifferent to our fate as some believe.” (Currently streaming free on Amazon Prime)
- BABE—Although there are still adults who have not seen Babe because they mistakenly think that it is “just a children’s film,” many more have discovered that both the humor and the insights into relationships make this a film literally for “children of all ages.” (Rent on Amazon Prime)
- ECHO IN THE CANYON—”Director Andrew Slater has assembled a galaxy of musicians and uses Grammy award-winning musician Jakob Dylan as his host to demonstrate the timelessness of these songs.” (Stream on Netflix; rent on Amazon Prime)
- FIDDLER ON THE ROOF—Why not relax with a true classic? (Streaming free on Amazon Prime) And, if you really love the movie—you can also watch Fiddler: Miracle of Miracles, because the 2019 documentary can now be rented on Amazon Prime. (Rent on Amazon Prime)
- A LITTLE CHAOS—”This beautiful costume drama is about a female garden architect taking on the assignment of designing and supervising the building of an important part of the lavish gardens of the new Versailles residence that King Louis XIV (Alan Rickman) is building just outside of Paris.” (Stream on Netflix; rent on Amazon Prime)
- MARY POPPINS RETURNS—”Although she seems a bit more reserved than an angel, the umbrella air-born Mary Poppins is a good stand-in for one for the Banks family in the two movies about her.” (Stream on Netflix; rent on Amazon Prime)
- THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING—”The title of director James Marsh’s biography of the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking is taken from the scientist’s quest to discover the one equation that will account for the existence of the universe. Quite an ambitious undertaking!” (Stream on Netflix; rent on Amazon Prime.)