MOVIES

‘Servant of All’ 

Scholar. TV personality. Bishop. These words describe, but cannot come close to summing up, one of the most beloved figures in American Catholicism in the 20th century — Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. 

The subtitle of the new documentary, “Archbishop J. Sheen: Servant of All,” comes closer to fitting the bill. Through archival photos and interviews with people who knew him best, including his personal secretary and members of his family, and luminaries such as New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan and TV talk show host Regis Philbin, the film documents the humor, holiness and humility of the prelate, whose cause for canonization has been opened. 

The film covers the archbishop’s life from his Illinois boyhood to his scholarly achievements to his success as a preacher, both on television and in person. 

The documentary, which was made to support the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation, which works to advance his canonization cause, is being shown at screenings in dioceses and parishes throughout the country. A DVD of the film will be released later this year. Visit www.sheenfilm.org for more details.

TELEVISION

‘The Suffering Church’

Persecution of Christians may seem like a topic for history books, or one that’s only relevant in far-off countries like China or Pakistan.

But a new EWTN special series will bring this all-too-contemporary horror into viewers’ living rooms. “The Suffering Church” reveals the depths of Christian persecutions in countries such as Nigeria, India, Iraq, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Sudan and serves as a disturbing reminder that, far from being an ancient problem, religious persecution persists to this day. In fact, as an EWTN media release notes, more Christians were martyred for their faith in the 20th century than in all the preceding centuries put together.

“The Suffering Church” will not just report on the problem, but will also give viewers information and advice on how they can help their suffering brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world.

The host for the 13-part “The Suffering Church” is Lord David Alton, a member of the British Parliament who in 1987 launched “Jubilee Campaign UK,” which has resulted in more than 150 members of Parliament “adopting” cases of religious discrimination around the world.

The special series will air at 11 p.m. ET Sundays and 5:30 a.m. ET Tuesdays beginning Aug. 29.

BOOKS

‘In the Heart of the World’ 

With Catholics around the world celebrating the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa’s birth, a recently released book aims to introduce readers to the spirituality of the Nobel Peace Prize winner. 

“In the Heart of the World,” by Mother Teresa (New World Library, $12.95), offers short glimpses into the holy woman of Calcutta’s pearls of wisdom on love, joy, contemplation and sacrifice. 

Divided into three sections of thoughts, stories and prayers, the slim volume includes Mother Teresa’s writings on themes closest to her heart: giving of yourself; recognizing Jesus in “the distressing disguise” of those who suffer; and remembering the small things in life, to name just a few.