Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

11/24/2013 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

I was not surprised when Rick accepted an invitation to become the President of Echolight Studios. It was consistent with his life mission. Rick Santorum is a morally coherent Catholic Christian who understands and lives a unity of life

I guarantee you that your friends and their families will not be disappointed with the entertainment value of this film.  It is a mix between It's a Wonderful Life and Dickens Christmas Carol.  Set in a beautiful Victorian England village, shot by the same team that did the Harry Potter movies, it is a top quality inspiring Christmas story for the whole family.  This is the first film that is about the real meaning of Christmas in 50 years with a great cast of British actors from Braveheart, The Hobbit, Les Miserables and The Mummy.(Rick Santorum)

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/24/2013 (8 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Rick Santorum, Christmas Candle, Echolight Studios, culture, film, movie, Christmas movies, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE,VA (Catholic Online) - Those who have read my articles over the past few years know of my friendship with - and admiration for - former Senator Rick Santorum. I begin by laying all of my cards on the table. If Rick Santorum decides to run for President again, I will do everything I can to assist him. I have no inside knowledge that he intends to do so; merely a hope. This man is, as the saying goes, the Real Deal.

I was not surprised when Rick accepted an invitation to become the President of Echolight Studios. It was consistent with his life mission. Rick Santorum is a morally coherent Catholic Christian who understands and lives a unity of life. In his political and policy work he properly refused to separate social, economic, and international concerns. Instead, he rightly affirmed that there is a moral basis for a truly free society. So it is that he also understands Art and its primary role in humanizing and elevating human culture.

He knows that those who bear the name Christian have an obligation to be yeast in the loaf of human culture. His efforts in politics were a part of that broader understanding of the Christian mission. This is a man who is called into the culture. I know that he will not only do well in his new pursuit, he will continue his life mission and vocation through it.

This is no time to retreat from culture. Rather, we must work for the conversion of hearts and the transformation of the structures which promote the true common good.  Politics is only a part of the call into human culture. Rick Santorum gets it. He is now engaged on another front, and the nation will be enriched by his work.

In 1999 the Pontifical Council for Culture of the Vatican released Towards a Pastoral Approach to Culture. Here is an excerpt: From the time the Gospel was first preached, the Church has known the process of encounter and engagement with cultures" (Fides et Ratio, 70), for "it is one of the properties of the human person that he can achieve true and full humanity only by means of culture(Gaudium et Spes, 53).

Rick Santorum knows that the Arts reach the hearts.  That is because he understands the Catholic Christian vision of life and the cultural mission.

In a General Audience held on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI spoke of a theme which is a major part of his theological vision, beauty as a path to God. He spoke of the universal human response to beauty as reflected in a sculpture, a painting, a poem, theatre, or a beautiful piece of music. The Pope said it is something bigger, something that speaks, capable touching the heart, of communicating a message, of elevating the soul. How many times, then, can artistic expressions be occasions to remind us of God, to help our prayer or the conversion of the heart?

The Pope Emeritus said that works of art open the door to the infinite, to a beauty and a truth that goes beyond the ordinary. A work of art can open the eyes of the mind and heart. Perhaps sometimes, before a sculpture, a painting, a few verses of a poem or a song, you have experienced deep within an intimate emotion, a sense of joy, that is to have clearly perceived that in front of you there was not only matter, a piece of marble or bronze, a painted canvas, a series of letters or a combination of sounds, but something bigger, something that speaks, capable of touching the heart, of communicating a message; elevating the soul.

The work of art is the fruit of human creativity, which questions the visible reality, trying to discover its deep meaning and to communicate it through the language of shapes, colors, sounds. (It) is an open door on the infinite (which) opens the eyes of the mind, of the heart. One example of this is when we visit a Gothic cathedral; we are enraptured by the vertical lines that shoot up towards the sky and draw our eyes and our spirits upwards, while at the same time, we feel small, and yet eager for fullness.

Or when we enter a Romanesque church: we are spontaneously invited to recollection and prayer. We feel as if the faith of generations were enclosed in these splendid buildings. Or, when we hear a piece of sacred music that vibrates the strings of our heart, our soul expands and helped to turn to God. A concert of music by Johann Sebastian Bach, in Munich, directed by Leonard Bernstein, again comes to my mind. After the last piece of music, one of the Cantate, I felt, not by reasoning, but in my heart, that what I heard had conveyed something of the faith of the great composer to me and pressed me to praise and thank the Lord .

He asked, how many times  have paintings or frescoes, the fruit of the faith of the artist, in their forms, their colors, in their light, encouraged us to direct our thoughts to God and nourish in us the desire to draw from the source of all beauty. What a great artist, Marc Chagall, wrote remains true, that for centuries painters have dipped their paintbrush in that colored alphabet that is the Bible.

How many times then can artistic expressions be occasions to remind us of God, to help our prayer or for the conversion of the heart! Paul Claudel, a poet, playwright, and French diplomat, in the Basilica of Notre Dame in Paris, in 1886, while he was listening to the singing of the Magnificat at Christmas Mass, felt God's presence. He had not entered the church for reasons of faith, but to in search of arguments against Christians, and instead the grace of God worked in his heart.

Benedict invited those present to rediscover the importance of this path for prayer, for our living relationship with God. The cities and towns all over the world preserve works of art that express the faith and remind us of our relationship with God. Visiting places of art, it is not only an occasion for cultural enrichment, but above all it can be a moment of grace, an encouragement to strengthen our relationship and our dialogue with the Lord, to stop and contemplate, in the transition from simple external reality to a deeper reality, the ray of beauty that strikes us, that almost wounds us in our inner selves and invites us to rise towards God. "

The focus on beauty is part of the Catholic vision of life and reality. Beauty is a path to the God who is the source of all beauty. On November 21, 2009 Benedict XVI met with 250 Artists in the Sistine Chapel. He told them they were all custodians of beauty, and asked them to be heralds and witnesses of hope for humanity. He continued in the trajectory of his predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, in reawakening within the Church a love for the Arts and a rediscovery of Beauty as a path to God. In Blessed John Paul's 1999, Letter to Artists he called for the creation of what he called epiphanies of beauty and encouraged the flourishing of all the arts in a great renewal of humanity for our age.

Creation and Redemption are part of a grand masterpiece by the Divine Artist. He created the world out of love and for all who dwell upon it can become a manifestation of His Beauty. There is a connection between beauty and the Christian vocation to manifest the presence of the living God in this world which He still loves. To be fully Christian is to be fully human. Blessed John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI encouraged the flourishing of all the arts in a great renewal of humanity for this age. Rather than withdraw from the arts they called Catholic artists to lead the way to their renewal and recovery.  A separation between the arts and a living faith has no place in a mature Christian worldview.

It proceeds from a poor anthropology - a misunderstanding of the nature of man/woman. It represents an inadequate understanding of the scope and implications of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Finally, it promotes a theology of the Church and her mission that views the world as a hostile environment from which the Christian and the Church must recoil rather than a palate worthy of loving transformation by those who carry on the redemptive mission of Christ the Divine Artist.

We need Catholics, other Christians, other people of faith and good will to respond to the call of Christ the Divine Artist and take their place in creating new epiphanies' of beauty. Christians should lead a resurgence of the arts and create new epiphanies of beauty which draw all men and women to the source of all that is beautiful, the living God. Rick Santorum has heard the call and is once again offering leadership on a vital front. This morning I received an E-Mail from my friend which I am happy to share with you below.

*****
Hi Deacon Keith,

Hope you and the family are well. 

Just in case you have been wondering what I have been up to since the campaign, five months ago I became the CEO of Echolight Studios, a film production and distribution company.  Well, our first movie comes out this weekend in a limited nationwide release.

I would really appreciate your support of this beautiful Advent film by buying tickets for you, your church or school and spreading the word about The Christmas Candle on social media. Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop Chaput and dozens of other bishops are supporting this amazing film.  The reviews have been off the charts like this one from Catholic Online that you may have seen. 

This opening weekend is key for this, or any movie, so your support now is critical for this inspiring movie of faith to move the needle in this country.   It opens tomorrow in VA Beach, Norfolk and Newport News. Here is the link to the trailer, please take a look if you have any doubt about the quality of this film.  There is also a link to a list of the almost 400 theaters where it will be opening.  

I guarantee you that your friends and their families will not be disappointed with the entertainment value of this film.  It is a mix between It's a Wonderful Life and Dickens Christmas Carol.  Set in a beautiful Victorian England village, shot by the same team that did the Harry Potter movies, it is a top quality inspiring Christmas story for the whole family. 

This is the first film that is about the real meaning of Christmas in 50 years with a great cast of British actors from Braveheart, The Hobbit, Les Miserables and The Mummy.

Finally, the score is fabulous!  It includes an original song written for the movie, Miracle Hymn, performed by Susan Boyle in her movie debut.  The song is which is on her recently released Christmas CD, hit number one on iTunes this weekend.

Thank you in advance for anything you do to support this film and God Bless,

Rick

*****
I will definitely see what I know will be a truly beautiful film. I invite you and your family to do the same. It will help all of us to prepare for the Holidays which lie ahead and support the mission we all have to be leaven in the loaf of human culture.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


ę 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

'We are coming for you!' American Islamic jihadist suicide bomber gleefully shouts to Americans on chilling final video Watch

Image of American terrorist Moner Mohammed Abu-Salha smiled and talked about dying and going to paradise.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new video shows an American smiling as he prepares to kill himself and dozens of others in a suicide bombing. In the video, made just before his death, Moner Mohammed Abu-Salha, 22, ripped, chewed, and burned his American passport before climbing into an ... continue reading


Malinformed much? Ninety percent of your information now comes from just 6 media sources Watch

Image of Small media outlets are consumed by the large, limiting the variety of expression.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Have you ever tried to describe something, but lacked the vocabulary to do it? This is the concept behind Newspeak, a fictional language in George Orwell's 1984. Orwell proposed that by limiting expression, thought itself could be limited. Today, as media companies ... continue reading


Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage struck down Watch

Image of The Virginia case, Bostic v. Rainey, was brought by two same-sex couples. Fourteen thousand gay couples also were certified as a class for the suit.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a dramatic reversal of a voter-based 2006 decision, U.S. appeals court this week struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, the latest in a string of court rulings to back gay marriage. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit ... continue reading


Archbishop Chaput Speaks at the Napa Institute Conference on Pope Francis and Economic Justice

Image of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is one of the preeminent Churchmen of our age. He offers a prophetic voice for this important time. He not only grasps and articulates Catholic Social Doctrine well, he also understands the real treasure we have been given in this Pope who took the name Francis. I believe that his insights into Pope Francis need to be read by as many people as possible.

By Catholic Online

In matters of economic justice, Francis' concerns are the same as Benedict's and John Paul II's and Pius XI's and Leo XIII's. He understands economic matters through the lens of Church teaching in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Like his ... continue reading


Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


Bridget of Sweden, Marriage and Family, and the Need for Canonized Married Saints Watch

Image of St Bridget of Sweden, her husband Ulf, and all the modern Popes call Christian married couples to become the 'Sweet and Smiling Face of the Church' in this age. This is an age which is desperately in need of all kinds of saints. I suggest we particularly need examples of married, canonized Saints. That is precisely because this is an age where faithful marriage is now counter-cultural. We need examples of men and women who not only embraced it in Christ, but lived it as a but a path to heroic virtue.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The clear teaching of the Bible, the Christian tradition and the re-emphasis of the last Council in the Catholic Church, the Second Vatican Council, make clear - we are ALL called to holiness in life. That  is what the Catholic Church regularly refers to as ... continue reading


Deacon Keith Fournier: The Courage of the Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby and ENDA Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Catholic Bishops are doing an excellent job standing up for Religious liberty as a fundamental human right. One of my growing concerns is that many Catholics do not even read what they are saying. Sadly, in a propagandized media where sound bites substitute ... continue reading


Obama demands that illegals be allowed to enter U.S. Watch

Image of Tens of thousands of illegal, unaccompanied minors have flooded into the United States since 2014 began, often escaping violence in war torn Central American countries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama's administration is considering whether or not it will allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras and other war-torn Central American states to enter into the United States illegally and without crossing into the country ... continue reading


Are you ready for the next dust bowl? California is! Watch

Image of A new study suggests that the Colorado River Basin is rapidly running out of water, which may be disastrous for the seven states it supplies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a report published by the American space agency and the University of California, the water crisis that is punishing the southwestern United States is likely to worsen. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The report found that the prime source of water ... continue reading


PLAGUE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS: Mayflies descend on Wisconsin Watch

Image of When summer arrives, Mayflies take flight and proceed to mate before immediately going back to the water to lay eggs and die.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a plague of Biblical proportions. Ugly mayflies have descended on the state of Wisconsin, covering up exterior services like so much black, metallic dust. Photos coming out of Wisconsin is sure to send viewers itching - so beware of some of the sights in ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 18:1-6
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 146:1-2, 2-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, my soul!2 I ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:47-53
47 'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 31st, 2014 Image

St. Ignatius Loyola
July 31: St. Ignatius was born in the family castle in Guip˙zcoa, Spain, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter