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The Beacon The Beacon January 21, 2016 : Page 1

SUSSEX 3 NEW VENUE FOR ANNUAL MARCH FOR LIFE PASSAIC THE AWARDWINNING NEWSPAPER OF THE R.C. DIOCESE OF PATERSON, N.J. MORRIS JANUARY 21, 2016 Wayne screenwriters hope sequel’s a hit 10 2 The Catholic Center for Evangelization at Bayley-Ellard PASSAIC POLISH COMMUNITY WELCOMES BISHOP ON VISIT Devout Catholics write follow-up to their 2014 blockbuster Christian film By MICHAEL WOJCIK NE WS EDIT OR 16 DO NOT DELAY — TIME SENSITIVE NEWS BISHOP MAKES PASTORAL VISIT TO KINNELON PARISH 8-9 V IEWPOINT 10 W HAT T O D O 1 1-15 C LASSIFIEDS WAYNE A news photo showed the twisted re-mains of a house, left with only a foundation, a wall and piles of debris, in the aftermath of a devastating tornado that tore through Missis -sippi in April 2014, killing five people. That shot, beamed around the world, touched the hearts of two writers of the movie “God’s Not Dead,” devout Catholics who grew up in Wayne. It also reminded them of the far-reach-ing impact of their blockbuster Christian film released that year, which continues to bring people the world over to Jesus. These childhood friends, Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, were excited to see that an overturned door in front of that decimated house in Mississippi bore a short yet powerful, spray-painted declaration of faith that shared the title of their movie: “God’s Not Dead.” The writers of this megahit, which netted more than $100 million, hope to capture lightening in a bottle again — or maybe set off another spiritual tornado around the globe — with its sequel, “God’s Not Dead 2,” set to open Easter week on Friday, April 1. “It’s amazing that the person who spray painted ‘God’s Not Dead,’ on that door, didn’t quote Scripture or a theologian, but the title of our movie. It shows that people are hunger-ing for movies about God and that we [the Christian media] can make those movies and beam the Gospel to every corner of the world,” said Cary Solomon about the original movie which tells the dramatic fictional story of a public college professor, who defends the existence of God in his class. “Chuck [a for-mer parishioner of Our Lady of Consolation (OLC), Wayne] and I love being Catholic. It’s what drives us to make movies. We want to help save the world for Christ. This movie [‘God’s Not Dead’] has helped change lives for the better,” he said. Made by Pure Flix, “God’s Not Dead 2” ex-amines other aspects of the challenges that be-lievers in Jesus in the U.S. face in this increas-ingly secularized society. Featuring many Christian actors and actress, the film tells the fictional story of Grace Wesley, a public high-school history teacher and devout Christian, played by Melissa Joan Hart. She quotes Jesus in the Gospel — his command for us to “love your neighbor as yourself” — in class in re-sponse to a student’s question about the prac-tice of nonviolence. The school board of her district in Arkansas learns about the incident and threatens her with disciplinary action for violating its policy that prohibits teachers from engaging in reli-gious speech on campus. But the board does offer Wesley a way to keep her job: apologize for and recant her comments about Jesus. She refuses and sets into motion an epic legal bat-tle that tackles issues that involve freedom of speech and separation of church and state and attracts widespread attention. “I would rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God,” Wesley says in the movie. This time, the sequel of “God’s Not Dead” takes the drama to the courtroom for the type GND2 on 5 PIF donors help those with disabilities live productive lives By CECILE SAN AGUSTIN REPOR TER OAK RIDGE With many of faith-ful Catholics in the Paterson Diocese coming together to sup-port Partners in Faith (PIF), the diocesan capital and endowment campaign, the Church of Paterson has been able to continue to reach out to help those most in need. Donations from PIF are helping to serve the poor served by the agen-cies of diocesan Catholic Charities, to foster important Catholic values to school children, to assist priests in need of special care and to re-build the Mother Church of the Diocese, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Paterson. At the Department for Persons with Disabilities (DPD), an agency of Catholic Charities, pledges to Partners in Faith have allowed for many im-provements to several of its group homes and main offices here. DPD’s mission is to provide residential, vocational, spiritual and social services to adults with intellectual and development disabilities and their families. Through competent and compassionate care, DPD em-powers each person to become active, contributing, and valued members of their community, and to participate fully in life with dignity and respect. As a Catholic Charities Agency, DPD strives to end discrimina-tion toward people with disabilities and works for social change by being a voice for justice and ad-vocacy, and convenes others to do the same. “Whenever Pope Francis has the opportunity to en-gage a large crowd of the faithful, he is often seen going out of his way to find a disabled person and making contact with him or her,” Bishop Serratelli said. “This is not by accident. Our Holy Father’s embrace of these special individu-als is meant to represent the Catholic Church’s embrace of peo-ple who are all too often margin-alized by society. “Our Diocese has always made it a priority to care for people with developmental disabilities. It is wonderful to see how funds from Partners in Faith continue this ef-fort. Our Department for Persons with Disabilities has done a re-markable job over the years. Because of the success of our Partners in Faith campaign, we are able to do even more for so many people in need,” the Bishop said. According to Scott Milliken, ex-ecutive director of DPD, in the past year, DPD has received more than $300,000 from pledges made to PIF helping the agency, which serves 74 individuals in its PIF on 6

Wayne Screenwriters Hope Sequel's A Hit

Michael Wojcik

Devout Catholics write follow-up to their 2014 blockbuster Christian film

WAYNE A news photo showed the twisted remains of a house, left with only a foundation, a wall and piles of debris, in the aftermath of a devastating tornado that tore through Missis - sippi in April 2014, killing five people. That shot, beamed around the world, touched the hearts of two writers of the movie “God’s Not Dead,” devout Catholics who grew up in Wayne. It also reminded them of the far-reaching impact of their blockbuster Christian film released that year, which continues to bring people the world over to Jesus.

These childhood friends, Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, were excited to see that an overturned door in front of that decimated house in Mississippi bore a short yet powerful, spray-painted declaration of faith that shared the title of their movie: “God’s Not Dead.” The writers of this megahit, which netted more than $100 million, hope to capture lightening in a bottle again — or maybe set off another spiritual tornado around the globe — with its sequel, “God’s Not Dead 2,” set to open Easter week on Friday, April 1.

“It’s amazing that the person who spray painted ‘God’s Not Dead,’ on that door, didn’t quote Scripture or a theologian, but the title of our movie. It shows that people are hungering for movies about God and that we [the Christian media] can make those movies and beam the Gospel to every corner of the world,” said Cary Solomon about the original movie which tells the dramatic fictional story of a public college professor, who defends the existence of God in his class. “Chuck [a former parishioner of Our Lady of Consolation (OLC), Wayne] and I love being Catholic. It’s what drives us to make movies. We want to help save the world for Christ. This movie [‘God’s Not Dead’] has helped change lives for the better,” he said.

Made by Pure Flix, “God’s Not Dead 2” examines other aspects of the challenges that believers in Jesus in the U.S. face in this increasingly secularized society. Featuring many Christian actors and actress, the film tells the fictional story of Grace Wesley, a public highschool history teacher and devout Christian, played by Melissa Joan Hart. She quotes Jesus in the Gospel — his command for us to “love your neighbor as yourself” — in class in response to a student’s question about the practice of nonviolence.

The school board of her district in Arkansas learns about the incident and threatens her with disciplinary action for violating its policy that prohibits teachers from engaging in religious speech on campus. But the board does offer Wesley a way to keep her job: apologize for and recant her comments about Jesus. She refuses and sets into motion an epic legal battle that tackles issues that involve freedom of speech and separation of church and state and attracts widespread attention.

“I would rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God,” Wesley says in the movie.

This time, the sequel of “God’s Not Dead” takes the drama to the courtroom for the type of case that “hasn’t been litigated yet, but it’s coming,” said Konzelman, co-owner along with Solomon of Believe Entertainment, a production company that co-produced the film.

“Hollywood makes movies that promote its political agenda [to marginalize belief in God and morals],” said Solomon, who moved with Konzelman to Los Angeles 25 years ago. “So we must prepare for the greatest battle. God can’t do it alone. We also have to help. We can’t abandon it [the agenda] to our enemies,” he said.

“God’s Not Dead 2” also tells the stories of other characters, whose lives intersect at various points with the colossal legal battle, many struggling with their own doubts and ways to evangelize others or live out their faith.

The original “God’s Not Dead,” which cost only $1 million to produce, stirred up a spiritual tornado of sorts, helping in its own way to upend the increasing secular culture. The film also has helped bring souls to Christ, strengthen the faith of believers and answer the questions of doubters, both writers said.

“Everyone was surprised with its success, including us and the producers,” Konzelman said with a laugh.

In turn, Solomon noted that he has received calls and notes from all over the world. He recounted the experience of talking on the phone to a Catholic from a credit-card call center in India, who recognized his name and thanked him for making the movie — attesting to its far-reaching impact.

The story of the friendship between Konzelman and Solomon, both movie writers for more than two decades, reaches back to their childhood in Wayne. The 55-year-old Konzelman attended weekly Mass at OLC with his parents and three sisters and Sunday night Mass at his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

Yet, for 10 years, he fell away from his faith before moving to Los Angeles.“L.A. is such a dark place. I felt this longing to reconnect with my faith there,” said Konzelman, who joined a local parish.

To the contrary, 57-year-old Solomon grew up without religion. Yet, he always believed in God. Then, one day, he and Konzelman — feeling lonely and like failures in the movie business — walked up the mountains above Hollywood. Solomon cursed God. He thought God would kill him.

“Instead, God lifted me up. I said that I’ve got to get close to the God, who loves me like this,” said Solomon, a married father of an 11-year-old son. He completed the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program in 1998 and, with Konzelman, who is single, attends Mass at the old San Fernando Mission.

Today, both Solomon and Konzelman work outside the “Hollywood system” to produce movies for Believe Entertainment and plan to create a studio and TV network that will generate even more faithbased content. They hope to make a movie about Abby Johnson, a former director of Planned Parenthood Clinic in Texas, who later became a pro-life activist.

In a YouTube video, Hart called “God’s Not Dead 2” a “very relevant movie for what’s going on in the country and in the world.”

“A lot of Christians are being persecuted. There is no consideration of what this country was founded on and there is a disregard for Christians as a whole, who are being shoved aside, instead of respecting Christianity like other religions,” Hart said.

Read the full article at http://www.livedigitaleditions.com/article/Wayne+Screenwriters+Hope+Sequel%27s+A+Hit/2374110/287977/article.html.

PIF Donors Help Those With Disabilities Live Productive Lives

Cecile San Agustin

OAK RIDGE With many of faithful Catholics in the Paterson Diocese coming together to support Partners in Faith (PIF), the diocesan capital and endowment campaign, the Church of Paterson has been able to continue to reach out to help those most in need. Donations from PIF are helping to serve the poor served by the agencies of diocesan Catholic Charities, to foster important Catholic values to school children, to assist priests in need of special care and to rebuild the Mother Church of the Diocese, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Paterson.

At the Department for Persons with Disabilities (DPD), an agency of Catholic Charities, pledges to Partners in Faith have allowed for many improvements to several of its group homes and main offices here. DPD’s mission is to provide residential, vocational, spiritual and social services to adults with intellectual and development disabilities and their families. Through competent and compassionate care, DPD empowers each person to become active, contributing, and valued members of their community, and to participate fully in life with dignity and respect. As a Catholic Charities Agency, DPD strives to end discrimination toward people with disabilities and works for social change by being a voice for justice and advocacy, and convenes others to do the same.

“Whenever Pope Francis has the opportunity to engage a large crowd of the faithful, he is often seen going out of his way to find a disabled person and making contact with him or her,” Bishop Serratelli said. “This is not by accident. Our Holy Father’s embrace of these special individuals is meant to represent the Catholic Church’s embrace of people who are all too often marginalized by society.

“Our Diocese has always made it a priority to care for people with developmental disabilities. It is wonderful to see how funds from Partners in Faith continue this effort. Our Department for Persons with Disabilities has done a remarkable job over the years. Because of the success of our Partners in Faith campaign, we are able to do even more for so many people in need,” the Bishop said.

According to Scott Milliken, executive director of DPD, in the past year, DPD has received more than $300,000 from pledges made to PIF helping the agency, which serves 74 individuals in its residential programs and 57 individuals in its vocational day program.

“DPD has been extremely grateful for the generous donations made to the Partners in Faith Campaign,” said Milliken.

At Calabrese House in Parsippany, DPD has been able to purchase a ramp van for two individuals living in the home. At Wallace House, repairs have been made to replace the roof. In addition, because each of the homes runs on a generator in the event of power outages, PIF donations helped replace an extensive unit at Barnet House in Pompton Lakes. In Oak Ridge where three group homes and DPD’s main offices are located, a 61,000-square foot of private roadway was paved to allow for safer access.

Msgr. James Mahoney, diocesan vicar general, moderator of the Curia and pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Chatham Township, said, “Teaching and showing reverence for all life is one of the best things about being Catholic. One of the many special programs made possible through Partners in Faith is our support given to the Department for Persons with Disabilities. I’ve had the chance to see on many occasions the wonderful work being done in this department. It is simply a program and place that recognizes Jesus in the life of each of these precious people. What a great thing for our diocese and our people to make possible.”

Just last month, DPD opened its newest home, Giuliano House in Jefferson Township, which is the agency’s 10th group home and 12th residential program. The house is named after Dr. Joseph Giuliano, DPD’s longest tenured board member, who has served as the residents’ dentist for 35 years.

This newest home will serve four people, who have been living in development centers around the state. The home is a ranch style house to accommodate the residents’ needs, which include special evacuation exits, lifts and modified bathrooms. Like all DPD homes, there are staff members working on shifts 24/7. The Giuliano House will have a nurse present to enhance the professionally trained staff. This program was made possible through the N.J. Olmstead Initiative, which created legislation to eliminate institutions and through support of DPD’s capital campaign, Building for the Future, with a goal of $200,000. PIF helped with the opening of the new home by providing funding for its entire HVAC system and $66,000 of unanticipated costs.

“The home is for those who have significant physical illnesses aside of developmental disabilities. We are happy to welcome the new residents to the DPD family,” said Milliken.

Giuliano House’s first resident, Patti, who moved in Dec. 8, had lived at the former North Jersey Developmental Center in Totowa for most of her adult life, and according to the DPD staff, she is happy to be at Giuliano House.

“Patti is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. She just has such an amazing spirit,” said Kelly O’Caiside, the new director at Giuliano House. “She loves to sing and laugh and she is so curious about the world around her. She knows that she is in a place where she will be loved and cared for, but most importantly she is finding that she can relax and be in a family environment. She’s already making great progress even though she’s only been with us for a short time.”

Last March, DPD marked its 50th anniversary and the opening of Giuliano House, said Milliken, was an appropriate way for the agency to mark this milestone as they continue to serve an often forgotten population in today’s society.

The Bishop said, “I am profoundly grateful to all who made contributions and for those who are continuing to complete their pledge commitments. This important work would not be possible without their ongoing support and generosity. May God bless every donor for being a partner in faith.”

“All of these improvements to our homes would not have been funded by State dollars and I would personally, on behalf of all the people we serve, thank Bishop Serratelli and all who donated to the PIF campaign which not only helped DPD, but Straight and Narrow and Catholic Family and Community Services as well,” said Milliken.

[Information on Partners in Faith: www.rcdop.org. and for the Department for Persons with Disabilities: visit www.dpd.org.]

Read the full article at http://www.livedigitaleditions.com/article/PIF+Donors+Help+Those+With+Disabilities+Live+Productive+Lives/2374115/287977/article.html.

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