“For Greater Glory” – Its Challenges and Inspiration
By Thomas M. Loarie, Editor's Column - Catholic Business Journal website
Last night, I had the opportunity of seeing the just-released film For Greater Glory,starring Andy Garcia, Peter O’Toole, Eva Longoria, and Eduardo Verastegui (Bella). Partially financed by the Knights of Columbus, this NewLands’ production challenges the audience to think about the price they would pay for religious freedom—a timely question in light of the cultural and political pressures facing the U.S. Catholic Church today.
For Greater Glory centers on the true story of the Cristero Civil War (1926-1929), also known as La Cristiada, an uprising and counter-revolution against the Mexican government that was set-off by the persecution of Catholics and a ban on their public religious practices. The rebellion is particularly known for the women and children who assisted the rebels in smuggling guns and ammunition in secret and for certain priests who were tortured and murdered in public, later canonized by Pope John Paul II in Mexico. More than 90,000 lives were lost during this conflict.
The release of this movie coincides with Catholic Charities’ Annual Appeal; an interesting (maybe Divine) coincidence. Catholic Charities, an “expression of our faith” as guaranteed by the First Amendment, served over an estimated 3 ½ million Americans from all faith traditions in 2011. Families and children with the greatest needs were the largest population served, followed by the working poor and seniors. This is a remarkable feat and yet, unfortunately, with the increasing demand for its services (85% from the working poor, 81% from families, 61% from seniors, and 60% from homeless), many had to be turned away.
Today, 5.7 million Californians are living in poverty. Here in Northern California, the Catholic Charities of the East Bay provided homelessness protection services, voluntary income tax assistance, health services, literacy programs, intensive crisis counseling, housing assistance, and transition services for foster children to over 22,000 lives this past year. Still, some of the most basic needs are going unmet in many communities today, and your help is desperately needed.
In the 1920s, thousands of Catholic lives were lost in a war for religious freedom in Mexico. These lives were given freely to protect the Church and its mission to do the work of Christ in the world. Almost 200 years later, the Catholic Church is coming under attack by those who would like to limit its mission and curtail the work of Christ in the United States.
Now is the time for all Catholics to stand together and protect our collective mission. And now is the time to reach into your pocket, give freely, and help provide much-needed support to Catholic Charities as an expression of our faith and our fearless commitment to continuing the work of Christ in the world.
Read the original article here: The California Business Journal