The spy who loved his family
Imagine James Bond as a family man with a wife and a couple of children at home, and instead of a martini — “shaken, not stirred,” of course — he enjoys going out for ice cream with his loved ones.
That’s the premise of the spy thriller “Who is Simon Miller?” airing at 8 p.m. Eastern time Aug. 6 on NBC, in which a family discovers that their father is not who he seems to be, and they must go on an international adventure to find him once he disappears.
Starring Robyn Lively, Loren Dean and Christine Baranski, “Who is Simon Miller?” is part of the Family Movie Night initiative, founded by Procter & Gamble and Walmart, that promotes family-friendly entertainment. This is the seventh installment of Family Movie Night since it began in April 2010.
Saintly companions for modern-day mothers
In her latest book, CatholicMom.com founder and editor Lisa M. Hendey amiably and expertly continues her professional vocation of inspiring and encouraging Catholic mothers. In “A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul” (Ave Maria, $16.95), Hendey familiarizes readers with saints — one for each week of the year — who are relevant to nearly every aspect of a Catholic mother’s life, divided into categories of heart, mind, body and soul. She offers related Scripture verses for the week as well as practical suggestions including prayer, reflection and activities.
Whether discussing lighthearted topics such as “overflowing mounds of dirty laundry” or serious issues such as mental illness and single parenthood, Hendey writes in a warm, conversational tone that makes each saint’s chapter an easy, informative read.
Hendey succinctly and aptly details the saints’ trials and triumphs that transcend the years — in many cases, centuries — as people struggle with the same intrinsic issues today.
Although many of the individual saints are patrons to various groups or issues that might not seem, at first glance, to apply specifically to mothers, Hendey does a great job of relating each saint’s legacy to common dilemmas faced by mothers. She includes saints with admirable virtues, such as grace, compassion and courage, that Catholic mothers can draw on for strength and support in times of need.
Just weeks after launching, News.va — the Vatican’s social media-friendly news portal — already has 70,000 followers on Twitter.
The site, launched by Pope Benedict XVI on June 28, streamlines news from L’Osservatore Romano; Vatican Radio; the Vatican television station; the Vatican Information Service; the Fides news agency; the Vatican press office; and the main Vatican website. Users are also able to share content through Facebook, Twitter and email. News.va offers print, video and audio material in English and Italian, with other languages in development.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, head of the Vatican press office, said the first big test for how well News.va reaches Catholics will be the World Youth Day in Madrid Aug. 16-21, which is expected to generate heavy traffic.
— CNS contributed to this report