The PATHWAYS of PAUL Pilgrimage, Sept. 18-28, 2019 -- Information

 
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A chat with Joseph Fiennes

– star of historical thriller 'Risen'

By Ann Schneible

Rome, Italy, Feb 10, 2016 / 03:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The lead actor of “Risen,” a film told through the eyes of a Roman soldier who is forced to confront the resurrection of Christ, calls it a story for believers and nonbelievers alike – notwithstanding its strong Christian themes.

“The film presents us with the element of a second chance, of forgiveness, of redemption,” Joseph Fiennes told CNA. “Whether you're a believer or not, I think there's a huge value in understanding the quality of redemption.”

Fiennes, known for his leading role in the 1998 award-winning film “Shakespeare in Love,” plays the character of Clavius, a Roman tribune charged by Pontius Pilate to investigate the disappearance of Jesus' body.

“Clavius as a man who's deeply conditioned in death, in killing, in warfare,” he said. Over the course of the film, “he is challenged through a series of interrogations to look at and examine himself and his own conditioning.”

A Catholic himself who is married in the Church, Fiennes noted the film's unique approach to the story's consistency with Scripture – at a time when many films take a more revisionist approach to biblical stories.

“It has a balance between being very creative cinema – it's a beautiful, epic, big film, it’s a Hollywood blockbuster in that sense – but at the same time it's respectful of Scripture.”

This balanced approach to the material stems from the filmmakers' commitment to the integrity of the subject material. Those involved in the film, he said, “have sweated and given their nth degree of energy to serve up and make this entertaining and respectful.”

Fiennes was recently in Rome with his family to screen the film. While in the city he attended the Feb. 3 weekly general audience, and spoke of being moved to tears upon meeting with Pope Francis.

“I wanted to say, 'Hey, Pope Francis,' but I cried like a baby,” Fiennes recounted. “I was reduced to a very humble set of feelings, because it was not about what was said: There’s a presence. That was a blessing for myself and my family and everyone there to be a part of that.”

Risen will be released in the United States and Canada on Feb. 19.

See the rest of CNA's interview with Joseph Fiennes below:

CNA: What attracted you to this project?

Fiennes: I think there are a number of answers to that question. Firstly, Kevin Reynolds, a veteran director, we had a long conversation and after that conversation he very kindly offered me (the role) – which is one of the rare times, if maybe the only time, a director’s been in the room and said: ‘Would you like to do the film?’ And I knew there and then: yes I did.

(It was) not only after having spoken with Kevin, but also because, for me, the two interesting things about the script is that, (first,) we begin at the Crucifixion.

Pretty much all films I’ve seen that depict the life of Christ end with the Crucifixion, almost like the filmmakers don’t know what to do after. And, it’s a very heavy place to end. It’s a very upsetting place to end, believer or nonbeliever. It’s a very powerful image. So, we start with the Crucifixion, and we go to the Resurrection and the Ascension. As the title Risen (implies that it) might explore the theme of resurrection, it also I think imbues the film with a sense of uplift.

Maybe we need more dialogue in terms of our faith, in terms of those who are believers, or even nonbelievers, about that aspect, and what that might mean if you were interpreting. You don’t have to believe it; maybe you could draw a metaphor from it. But, I think there’s a positivity here which for me is fresh in the telling of Christ.

The other thing is it’s true to Scripture, or respectful of Scripture. Some films in the past have not been. I like that it has a balance between being very creative cinema – it’s a beautiful, epic, big film, it’s a Hollywood blockbuster in that sense – but at the same time it’s respectful of Scripture. So that’s a first time balance as well.

CNA: Could you talk about the journey of your character? And, how much of your own personal life and faith journey contributes to the journey of Clavius?

Fiennes: As you know, my character is a nonbeliever. He believes in the law of Roman gods, in particular Mars. He views Yeshua (Jesus), his followers, and all that they stand for, as Zealots and terrorists.

I came to this from a completely different angle. It’s nothing to do with me. I had to go the other way. I had to invent and articulate the research I had found. The historical research that gave me great value to making the character was how a man, military tribune, would think and act in that time and age.

I didn’t bring my self to the part. I invented Clavius. And when he goes on a change, maybe I could come closer to him, but for me, in my mind, I wasn’t myself. I’m this Tribune.

CNA: As an actor in Hollywood, you’ve said this film has an appeal for believers nonbelievers alike. Are we perhaps at time when there’s more receptivity to films about faith? Specifically, to films that don’t have an agenda, or that aren’t seeking to change the story?

Fiennes: The Biblical narrative has played a part in the history of cinema for a long time. There’s always been a hunger, I think.

Now, they’ve always been films for their age. Maybe they’ve been over-the-top old fashioned, Evangelical, and now maybe they’ve gone the other way – they’re too revisionist, and too original, and don’t adhere to Scripture. I think we’ve got a nice balance here, and maybe it is a film for the time and age.

I think less about religion, and I think (about) the word “conditioning”: that we’re all conditioned, whether we know it or not. To have a dialogue and a self-observation of one’s conditioning is important, because we’re only going to come up against another person’s conditioning, and that might bring tension and conflict.

The more that we can understand our conditioning, the more that we can invite ourselves to look at someone else’s culture and belief through their eyes, the less conflict there will be.

I see Clavius as a man who’s deeply conditioned in death, in killing, in warfare. He is challenged through a series of interrogations to look at and examine himself and his own conditioning.

It’s less about religion for me. I like to use the term, it’s a more neutral term, conditioning for me. I think religion might throw up a kind of resistance, but I think if one talks about conditioning we can all kind of understand that.

Conditioning can be not a big heavy thing. (For instance:) I've got a brand new pair of shoes, by mistake you step on it and you make them muddy and dirty, I'm conditioned to go “Hey, what are you doing?” That's my conditioning, I have a response. So, maybe we have to learn to find the pause before we react, because reaction is our conditioning.

That for me is what I love about Clavius. He’s conditioned, and de-conditioned in order to take on the understanding of philosophy elsewhere.

CNA: You’ve been taking part in the various screenings of this film, and meeting with people who are seeing it for the first time. What has been surprising in how people are responding to the film?

Fiennes: Our producers and directors and actors, right across the board... have sweated and given their nth degree of energy to serve up and make this entertaining and respectful.

The surprising thing for me is that we're dealing with a very sacred narrative. It seems to me that we have not caused division or dislocation or disenfranchisement, which is incredible. The overwhelming response has been positive.

Now, some people will love it, some people will kind of go: “Yeah, it’s okay.” But no one has gone to the other length. And, when you’re dealing with this narrative, I find that we’ve been very lucky. Something has guided us towards a place where I feel that the auditorium watching the film could be a complete diverse mix of atheists, agnostics, hard-core believers, and they will all enjoy and take something away from it. That, to me, is very rare.

And from all the interviews, and everything I’m getting: People are liking it.

CNA: Something I noticed during (the Feb. 3 Rome) screening was how some people were moved to tears during the film. Obviously, the majority of people in that screening were Catholic, but it would be interesting to see the impact it would have on people who don’t have any religion.

Fiennes: That’s what we’re really interested in: Will it reach that wide audience? I hope it does, because there’s great value for everybody.

But, I think just on a cinematic level, it’s a feast. It’s beautiful to look at, it’s wonderfully shot by a great Italian cinematographer and cameraman, Lorenzo (Senatore).

CNA: You had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis at the general audience. Could you tell us a little bit about what that was like?

Fiennes: I didn’t know what to expect. I guess I was a little bit in a dream. Honestly, I’m buying Pampers for my girl with my wife on Wednesdays. Wednesday mornings I’m not in Rome at the Vatican meeting the Pope.

I’m a huge admirer of Pope Francis and everything he stands for. I think he’s an incredibly connected spiritual and authentic being. As well as that, he clearly has the heart of the people because he is a modern voice and, (because of) everything he stands for, (people) feel a connection. He is tangible.

The pomp and the ceremony (at the Vatican) can distance ordinary people, and he breaks through that. This is incredible.

I wanted to say, “Hey, Pope Francis,” but I cried like a baby. I was reduced to a very humble set of feelings, because it was not about what was said: There’s a presence. That was a blessing for myself and my family and everyone there to be a part of that. And what a generous man to do that every day, or on Wednesdays, or across the world and travel. To look you in the eye, and give (that) the time and energy to millions: this takes a very connected being to do that.

 

Past Issues

Dec. 9, 2018

Nov. 25, 2018

Nov. 11, 2018

Oct. 28, 2018

Oct. 14, 2018

Sept. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2018 Golf Classic; student athletes; physically challenged; Leonard Stegman; Lesson in forgiveness; Sending us on a mission

Sept. 2, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Priest crisis; Scandal; Opioid addictions; Seeds of Suicide; Leightons; St. Anne; Vincke; seminarians; Dominican Sisters; Stewardship Conference; Dead Sea Scrolls; PSR programs; Roe V. Wade

 

August 12, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Prayer and Action; Totus Tuus; Janee Bernal; Diana Ramirez; Heidy Ramirez; Bishop Gilmore honored for 20 years ministry; suicide; contraception and abortion; Dead Sea Scrolls; Humanae Vitae; certification in youth ministry; Chuck Weber; Cathedral rectory chapel; Sister Viola Heichelbech; Adam Urban

July 15, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Immigration Protest/Rally; Faith and Light Fiesta; Seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls; Corpus Christi procession; Prayers for priests; Sisters turn 100; Michael Brungardt; Gerald Vincke; Massacre in San Salvador; Action for Alex 

 

June 3, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Parish Pray for Priestly Vocations; Appeal reaches $10 million; Gangs; Seminarians; Pam Willis; Why I like being a priest; Happy Father's Day; Patricia Lujan; Tyler and Rachel Bennett; Adoption Protection Act.

May 20, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation

May 6, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Archbishop Romero; Seeing, Touching, Tasting; Exhortation; Father Patrick Conroy; Happy Mother's Day; A child on your doorstep; Vibrant Ministries Grant; From the heart of a young father; Love Gives Life; Roman Holiday; Smartphone; retirement
Fossil Hunting

 

April 15, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; Angelica Village; Colorado woman; The art of anger; Cimarron Couple; Staats; Adoption; 

Father Ultan Murphy anniversary; Coughlan; Spiritual Advisor to Hoodlums; Woman of Courage; Oration contest; Darcy Feist  

 

April 1, 2018

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Defending Adoption; Led by the Spirit; Knights; ABC Pregnancy Center;
Memorial of Mary; Homeless; Relics; Down syndrome abortion; Chrism Mass

 

March 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Aleksandr Men; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; Uganda; School for deaf; Rannah Evetts; Oberle; Rachel and Doug Trombley; Oscar Romero; Paul VI; DACA

 

 

March 4, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Fasting for priestly vocations; Father Juan; Fasting and prayer;
Quest Weekend 2018; DACA; With God, anything is possible; Homelessness in our communities; Rhubarb, Kansas;
What's the point of fasting; Rite of Election; same-sex couples

 

Feb. 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; Rachel Doll; Ellinwood; Great Bend; Garden City; Ness City; Dodge City; Sister Rita Schwarzenberger; Nigeria; Bishop Hermes; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; World Day for Consecrated Life; 50th Anniversary St. Dominic School; What will life be like in 50 years?

 

 

Feb. 4, 2018

 

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: March for Life; Tracy and Ross Smith; Adoption; Vibrant Ministries; Faith and Light;
Pro-Life; Mortal sin to discard elderly; DACA; Abortion; Dreamers; Human Trafficking

 

Jan. 21, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Louise Korbe; Anne Frank; Miep Gies; Home Heat; Father Solanus

 

Jan. 7, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Good news and kingdom living; dreamers; Sister Teresa Orozco; Infant Adoption; Elderly; a moral conundrum; seminarian; feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

Dec. 17, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Celebrate Christmas 'unplugged'; Msgr. Matthew Smith; Klan; Catholic Charities Annual Appeal; Fr. Larry Rosebaugh; A Guadalupe Encounter; Laci and Joe Salazar; A Christmas Wish; Adoption; Confession; Advent; EWTN; Christmas Blues; Tilma; Pittsburgh; PSR

 

Dec. 3, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2017 NCYC; Wheel of Balance; Marita Rother; Stanley Rother; slavery; trafficking; Windthorst water damage; martyred priests; confession; reconciliation; How to go to confession; recipe for codfish cakes; Catholic schools; appeal

 

Nov. 19, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Saints; Father Kola; Black Elk; Giving Tuesday; velvet Elvis; a Slice of Time; Dani Sandoval; Mexican Village; Father Tim Hickey; New faces at chancery; priests share thoughts on confession; Wheel of Balance

 

Nov. 5, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Matrimony Anniversary Mass, 2017; Riebel; Faith and Light; Scripture Day; Sex in the Bible; Quilt, Mexican Village Story; Finance; Fatima pilgrimage; Fowler church window renovation; Medicare; Crazy Glue


Oct. 15, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Father Francis Jordan; Sister Renee Kirmer; Father Rother beatified; religious liberty; RCIA Kansas; V Encuentro; Bishop Weisenburger; Daughters of Isabella; Bishop Gerber Science Center


Oct. 1, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: De Colores; Rebein; Dreamer; Pies; Kellner; Code Quilts; Sister Crucita; Feezor; Formed.org; Sin and pain

 

 Sept. 17, 2017

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Sister Lucy Fidelis; Underground Railroad; Sister Irene Hartman; DACA; new priests; teachers; Volunteer of the Year; Golf Classic; St. Francis Xavier; St. Nicholas Parish Center, Kinsley; seminarians; Knights Lite; Stewardship Day 2017

Sept. 3, 2017

Aug. 13, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Coronado Cross; Masada; Moody Gardens; Elders; Rother; undocumented children; cages; year of mercy; Kumi; Hollywood makeup artist; New Mexico; refugee women.

July 16, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Summer camp; tithing and almsgiving; Bill Baalmann; Nathan Schaller; Jubilarian Sisters; Sister Hortencia Rodriguez; Sister Petrona Stockemer; Sister Denise Sevart; Convocation of Catholic Leaders; Mother talks about her son entering seminary; Arcoiris; Youth group travels to Colorado Springs; Major Phillip Roth

June 11, 2017 (Updated)

Ordination; Mark Brantley; Jacob Schneider; Father's Day; Thanks, Dad!; Appeal; Sister Mary Martin Weaver; Bishop Maralit; Budget; Trafficked women; Deacon Michael Brungardt; Dead Sea Scrolls; softball; Father Urban retirement; Sister Kravec retirement; Father Mazouch retirement; Authentic Joy; Pris Climate Accord; Jack Schramm; Pieta.

May 28, 2017 (Updated)

 

Grateful Hearts; MSFS Provincial; Reddy; Reif; Opossum; Dead Sea Scrolls; Our Lady of Fatima; Jorge Herrera, Jr.; Cursillo; Kough; First Communion; Confirmation

May 14, 2017

Esteban Hernandez; citizen; Lilly Ann Rein, Amberly Jimenez, Mother's Day; peacock; Quattrocchi; President Kennedy; Teen Moms; Junior High Youth Rally; Encounter With God's Call; granny/nanny; seniors' contributions; tornado anniversary; harvest; healthcare; Mr. Brown; Store-bought teeth; Louis and Zelie Martin; Father John Sullivan; Irish priest whose prayers could heal; Mexican beauty queen; Esmaralda Gonzalez; religious life

April 30, 2017

   KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; bully; TEC; Father Marvin Reif; Bet'sie; What makes a hero?; St. Mary of the Plains; tornado

Easter, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Honorable courtship; footsteps of migrants; CHRISM Mass 2017; honoring priests; Encuentro Cross blessed; Daughters of Isabella State Convention; Fatima pilgrim statue; Mary Sharon Moore interview; Senate advances pro-life measures; love must be at the core of family life; Father John Forkuoh's car story; Confirmations; Sisters of Concordia; CNN hero Father Khalil Jaar

March 26, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: From the heart; kidney; Rother; Friar Carmelo; Schnauzer; Lauren Seachris; Lauren's Treat; fire; Guatemala; immigration; Lenten Regulations 1888; Hot Cross Buns; budget; Trump; Forkuoh; Seiwert; South Sudan; hot ashes

March 12, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Refugees; immigrants; Gilbert Herrman; When you give alms'; Lent; Call to Continuing Conversion, Rite of Election; Charell and Jeremy Owings; adoption; Our Growing Church; Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia; water; creation; Sudan; Darlow Lampe

Feb 26, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Night to shine; Immigration; immigrants; Knights of Columbus; Pete Gomez; this foreign mission; Creole; Robin Doll; Eagle Scout; Quest

Feb 12, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; March for Life; Pro-life; Executive Order; Secular Franciscan Order; teachers; Down Syndrome; Eagle Scout; Bronze Pelican

Jan. 29, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Thank you, religious; SEEK 2017; homeless man to priest; Fourth Sunday; Secret Service to Sacred Heart; Dr. Gerard Brungardt; Martin Luther King; 110 year old nun; Toddler miracle; Letter from undocumented immigrant; health care; immigration

Jan. 15, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Mary helps us share; Tighe donates home to Birthright; Pro-life billboard; Theobald Hattrup; Helen and Steve Eck; Pearl Harbor; Reigning Grace

Dec. 18, 2017

KEYWORDS: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 2016; Pope Francis Christmas schedule; 2016 high school youth rally; Aerospace engineer; Father Stanley Rother; Radio station; Dying girl's letter; Scout nominations; 12 days of Christmas

Dec. 4, 2016

KEYWORDS: Vocations Day; Pope Advent advice; Ex-prostitute; Spearville mission; Pilgrims v. Zombies; Face of God; Mission bazaar; Ness City fall festival; Rural health care; Archbishop Gomez; Bishops congratulate Trump

Nov. 20, 2016

Nov. 6, 2016

Oct. 23, 2016

Oct. 9, 2016


Sept. 25, 2016


Sept. 11, 2016

 
Aug. 7, 2016

July 10, 2016

June 12, 2016

May 29, 2016

May 8, 2016


 April 24, 2016

 April 10, 2016

 March 27, 2016

March 13, 2016

Feb. 28, 2016

 

Feb. 14, 2016


Jan. 31 , 2016

Jan. 17, 2016

Dec. 20, 2015

Dec. 6, 2015

Nov. 15, 2015

Nov. 1, 2015

Oct. 18, 2015

Oct. 4, 2015

Sept. 20, 2015

Sept. 6, 2015

August 9, 2015

July 12, 2015

Jun 14, 2015

May 17, 2015

May 3, 2015

April 19, 2015

Easter, 2015

 

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