Daily Archives:March 1st, 2018

How the rosary helped Jim Caviezel play St Luke

WASHINGTON DC- “Passion of the Christ” star Jim Caviezel told CNA on 28 Feb 2018 that he relied on scripture, daily Mass and the rosary to portray holiness on the big screen in “Paul, the Apostle of Christ.”

The film, which premieres March 23, depicts the persecution of the early Christians in Rome under Emperor Nero, along with an imprisoned Saint Paul conveying a message of hope at the end of his life.

“I thought that that was one of the greatest parts of the script,” Caviezel told CNA. “Here is a beat up old man in prison, facing execution. How can this man be a light to the world?”

“But it’s often through our struggles, our trials, our tragedies that triumph comes,” the Catholic actor said.

Caviezel plays the role of Saint Luke, who regularly visits Paul in prison to document his story while composing the Acts of the Apostles. The audience sees Luke serving the early Christian community in Rome as a physician, spiritual leader and writer.

“He [Luke] mentioned the Virgin Mary more than any other writer,” reflected Caviezel on portraying the Gospel evangelist, “I use the rosary to focus, to pray.”

“I go to Mass every day and the Eucharist is Christ in me,” Caviezel continued, “Everything that I do is always with heaven’s help. It directs my path. It guides me. It is where I got my talent from. What I give back to God from what he has given me … he just multiplies it and blesses it in ways that I never thought possible.”

Caviezel says that he also has “a great devotion to the patron saint of actors, Saint Genesius.”

The role of Paul is played by British actor James Faulkner, who previously had supporting roles in “Game of Thrones” and “Downton Abbey.”

“Well I’m happy to admit that Jim is a much more devout Christian than am I, and I drew from his faith whenever possible,” said Faulkner, who was raised in the Church of England.

Faulkner told CNA that playing Paul changed him as he “read and reread Paul’s letters” in preparation for the role.

“Do I have more humility? Yes. Do I have more love for my fellow man? Yes. Is there a possibility of redemption even for myself? Yes, there is,” reflected Faulkner.

Behind the scenes, “Paul, the Apostle of Christ” felt different than his previous experience on the set of “Game of Thrones,” Faulkner said.

“Being placed in a much simpler environment, and feeling entirely supported by those around you, and loved by those around you, I found to be an extraordinary experience.”
Conversion and forgiveness are major themes of “Paul, the Apostle of Christ,” Caviezel said.

“The greatest controversy of this film is forgiving at all costs, and that doesn’t mean weakness or the acceptance of evil. It means meeting evil face-to-face … that’s the hardest thing,” he said.

“Some of the most powerful dialogue centers around what true courage is,” continued Caviezel, “Courage is ardent love. Love creates change by igniting a passion in each one of us. One person at a time.”

The film is dedicated to the world’s persecuted Christians. “We were writing this script through those heavy intense times with ISIS and the problems that are going on in Syria and the Middle East,” executive producer Eric Groth told CNA. He said his team also reflected “on the martyrs of the centuries who have laid down their lives” in guiding the actors of the film.

“Paul, the Apostle of Christ” was written and directed by Andrew Hyatt, who previously directed the film, “Full of Grace,” about the Virgin Mary’s last days on earth. Both films were produced by the Catholic group ODB Films, in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment.

ODB Films says it is “dedicated to fostering an encounter with Christ through artfully made, spiritually rich films.”

Groth told CNA he hopes that Catholics will reach out and invite friends to the film who are not familiar with the Biblical story.

“I want them to reach out and take someone who might be struggling in their life and go to see a non-cheesy, Christian film that looks at faith through a very human lens and through a very real lens.” – CNA

Sook lad ordained transitory deacon for Keningau Diocese

The newly ordained deacon (3rd from L, front) poses with the concelebrants after the Mass, 25 Feb 2018, KSFX Keningau.

KENINGAU – Twenty six years ago, a seven-year-old boy watched in awe as a priest celebrated Mass at the small chapel in his village of Kampung Kovosion, in the interior Sook district.

The boy was particularly taken by the vestments of the priest and wondered whether one day he would follow the same vocation.

The answer has indeed been in the affirmative for seminarian David Richard Gasikol who is on his way to a priestly life after being ordained deacon.

His ordination by Bishop Cornelius Piong was held at a packed St Francis Xavier Cathedral here on 25 Feb 2018.

Among those present to witness the ordination was Father Bonaventure Unting who first encouraged David to consider the priesthood during a talk on priestly vocation at the Sook parish a decade ago.

Before the laying on of hands, Bishop Piong explained to the candidate about the functions of the office of a deacon, the meaning, and importance of celibacy to which David accepted.

The candidate also made a promise of obedience to the bishop.

Fr Bonaventure helped David with the vesting of the stole and dalmatic after the laying on of hands.

The newly ordained deacon then began assisting the bishop at the altar.

In his homily, Bishop Piong expressed his gratitude to God for calling on David to serve Him.

He reminded the newly ordained deacon that the vocation was only possible through God’s calling and ordination was a grace of God that must be lived and preserved.

Turning to a group of seminarians who were present to witness the ordination, Bishop Piong said he hoped the event would serve as an encouragement for them to continue on their vocational journey.

To parents attending the ordination, the prelate urged them to be sensitive to God’s calling of their children to take up priestly or religious life.

“Our church needs more people to serve the Lord,” said Bishop Piong whose Keningau diocese of 18,200 sq km covering seven Sabah districts encompassing Beaufort, Kuala Penyu, Membakut, Sipitang in the west coast as well as Tenom and Tambunan in the interior.

To those from the Holy Spirit Parish of Sook, the prelate said it would not be “too long” before the priestly ordination of Deacon David would be held there.

After the Mass, David said he entered the aspirancy at the Catholic Archdiocesan Centre in Penampang in 2010, and gave thanks to God for his calling.

He also expressed gratitude to his mother Norah Mohidou and his five siblings, as well as fellow seminarians for their support in his vocational journey.

After a year at the Initial Formation House in Kota Kinabalu in 2011, he went on for his philosophical and theological studies at St Peter’s College Kuching from 2012 to 2017.

Looking back at his vocational journey, he said the past eight years had been a time of learning and discernment.

His advice to youth who are considering a similar vocation, he said, “Think about God and reflect what is the meaning of your life and your very existence.”

“Do not be afraid to enter into this way of life,” said David. – Ruben Sario

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