“Downsizing” (Paramount)

Kristen Wiig and Matt Damon star in a scene from the movie "Downsizing." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/Paramount)

By Catholic News Service What begins as a curious sci-fi fantasy about a futuristic technology people can use to shrink themselves (thereby dramatically reducing the toll they take on the environment) becomes a deeply humane, faith-tinged drama once a Midwestern suburbanite (Matt Damon) who has chosen to “go small” crosses paths with a Vietnamese refugee […]

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“Father Figures” (Warner Bros.)

Glenn Close, Owen Wilson and Ed Helms star in a scene from the movie "Father Figures." The Catholic News Service classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. (CNS/Warner Bros.)

By Catholic News Service Threadbare comedy about estranged fraternal twins (Owen Wilson and Ed Helms) who belatedly learn from their mother (Glenn Close) that the man she long ago told them was their deceased father was, in fact, just a friend of hers, and that their real dad may be alive — though her promiscuous […]

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Christmas and the miracle of ‘Yes’

Sister Mary Core, OSB

By Sister Mary Core, OSB Sunday, Dec. 25/Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) At the Vigil Mass Isaiah 62:1-15 / Psalm 89:4-5,16-17,27,29 / Acts 13:16-17,22-25 / Matthew 1:1-25 Mass During the Night Isaiah 9:1-6 / Psalm 96:1-2,2-3,11-12,13 / Titus 2:11-14 / Luke 2:1-14 Mass at Dawn Isaiah 62:11-12 / Psalm 97:1,6,11-12 / Titus 3:4-7 / Luke 2:15-20 Mass During the Day Isaiah […]

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“The Greatest Showman” (Fox)

Hugh Jackman stars in a scene from the movie "The Greatest Showman." The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. (CNS/Fox)

By Catholic News Service Marital fidelity and family values in general are emphasized in this big, brash musical based on the life of pop entertainment pioneer P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman). The 19th-century impresario’s rise from poverty to worldwide fame is facilitated by his well-bred wife (Michelle Williams) and equally genteel partner (Zac Efron). But tensions […]

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“Pitch Perfect 3” (Universal)

Rebel Wilson and Anna Kendrick star in a scene from the movie "Pitch Perfect 3." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/Universal)

By Catholic News Service Discordant and exceedingly unfunny musical comedy, directed by Trish Sie. The members of an award-winning a capella singing group (Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson and Anna Camp, among others) have graduated from college and entered the real world. Job prospects are slim, and they long to reunite and sing again. […]

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“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” (Columbia)

Karen Gillan, Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart star in a scene from the movie "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/Sony)

By Catholic News Service Amusing comic adventure in which a quartet of teens (Alex Wolff, Ser’Darius Blain, Madison Iseman and Morgan Turner) find themselves magically transported into an old video game where they inhabit the avatars they chose before the start of play (Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan). Most of the […]

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“All the Money in the World” (Sony)

Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg star in a scene from the movie "All the Money in the World." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/Sony)

By Catholic News Service By turns suspenseful, darkly comic and stridently moral, this slightly fictionalized account of the famous 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer), the grandson of his billionaire namesake (Christopher Plummer), makes a strong case that immense wealth not only can’t buy happiness, it also imposes depths of misery that […]

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Festival of Nativities unites community around manger as Christmas approaches

"Come and Behold Him" was the theme for the 2017 Community Festival of Nativities in Peoria and that's exactly what the children from nearby Holy Family School did. The pre-school students in Chery Craft's class were among the first to visit the festival on Dec. 1, with Henry Anderton and Kate Ho taking an interest in one of the Nativities from Msgr. William Watson's private collection. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

At a time when so much seems to be dividing humanity, celebrating the birth of Christ is one thing that unites people. That thought is the driving force behind the Community Festival of Nativities in Peoria. “Come and Behold Him” was the theme for the second annual event, which was sponsored by St. Vincent de […]

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Family finds meaning at Christmas despite damage left by Washington tornado

This picture of Jesus "is a copy of the one I had hanging in my house when the tornado hit.," said Lisa Hines. "When I found it among the rubble it was still intact. It is again hanging on my living room wall and continues to be the Jesus that I go to."

By Lisa Hines EUREKA — Christmas 2014 was a Christmas like no other. On Nov. 17, 2014, a tornado hit Washington, Illinois, at approximately 11:05 a.m. and destroyed our house. That day our world was literally turned upside down. My husband, John, my dad, Leo, 91 (who had been living with us since 2011), and […]

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Death couldn’t stop gift of hope organist received from collaborator

Longtime collaborators Sonny Huffman and Carol Wake do what they loved to do most --- make music together. Her death devastated him, but her last Christmas present to him gave him hope. Provided photo

FROM THE EDITOR: In the following reflection, Sonny Huffman talks about his friend, Carol Wake, a longtime music teacher and church musician who served at St. Bernard and St. Vincent de Paul, both in Peoria, until her death. He continues to live in Peoria and minister as an organist for Masses at St. Vincent de […]

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