Posted tagged ‘St. Paul’

Finding the light in Hollywood?

September 1, 2009

Recently, on the way to L.A, I stopped at a truck stop for gas, when this huge, white semi pulled up in front of me with a rather bold statement. On the trailer, the word “Hollywood”  was painted in huge, black letters, and encircling it was a red circle with a slash through the middle. Crosses, Jesus pictures, and Christian fish symbols dotted the outside of the  shiny, red cab. My initial thought upon reading this bold, anti-Hollywood advertisement was, “Wow, that is one heck of a conversation starter.” I could just imagine the comments those guys received on the road. When the semi pulled out and I continued towards L.A– that ‘dreaded’ and ‘fearful land’ so many Christians perceive as “Hollywood”– I started thinking about two things: first, there are numerous, good and talented Christian people working right in the heart of Hollywood (actually, I was on my way to Catholic Underground with some fellow JP Catholic Student to watch a night of talented musicians), and second, how did St. Paul evangelize to the Gentles? Take, for example, Act One, a Christian organization of talented writers, producers, actors, and directors from all across the U.S., who’s mission is similar to that of JP Catholic University. Their building lies directly below the Hollywood sign. Christopher Riley, a professor of screenwriting at John Paul the Great Catholic University, was originally the executive director of the writing program there. He also is an award winning screenwriter living in L.A. with his family and worked for Warner Bros. Studios as head of the script departmentfor many years. Certainly, Hollywood can’t be totally detrimental to society, since we do have these examples of strong Christian artists perfecting the filmmaking craft in successful and Godly ways. Far too easy is it to preach a positive message on screen. Much more challenging, however, is to deliver that message in an artistic and realistic way. Clearly, that takes skill and bravery. Just as St. Paul adopted a strategic way to evangelize to the Gentiles, so also we must find common ground with the mainstream secular audience. It’s not enough that we preach to the choir, for we are called to go into the darkness and bring the light. How can we achieve such a goal if we are avoiding the darkness and bashing the other side (who actually need our help most)? There is indeed hope in Hollywood, and being among aspiring filmmakers such as those at JP Catholic, we hope to be ambassadors of hope and bring light to the heart of the entertainment industry. Man is fallen, but beauty still appeals to his weak nature. Thus, we must perfect our craft both professionally and morally or else we will never be able to truly Impact the Culture for Christ.

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Men’s Night

February 4, 2009

JP Catholic is very unique school, not duplicated anywhere else in world. This unique school attracts unique people with a sense of purpose. This sense of purpose is seen in everyone and I would say there is a unity in the student body. They are all driven to become saints. In order to reach that goal, students have come together to help each other in that arduous challenge. The men of JP Catholic get together on Tuesday nights to just be men, Men of God. We eat, pray, talk, listen, share, and goof off “AS MEN.” Sometimes we have spaghetti, talk about community, and try to build community at JP Catholic. Other times we pray then play Ultimate Frisbee for two and half hours. Each night is different, and we don’t care. We are just trying to get to sainthood together. I think it’s great that all the men of JP Catholic have this same purpose, to run the race that St. Paul tells us to run, and that we are running it together.