Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Make The Connection... Making good choices at the movies!

With all this rainy weather in the northeast, a trip to the movie theatre seems in order!

When you are unsure whether or not a movie upholds your values, it can be tricky to find a review that will give you a clear idea of how a movie will rate on your moral barometer. There are several great web sites to help you in your quest! All of them review current movies in theatres as well as those on DVD.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has a page devoted to movie reviews. The reviews are short, containing a summary and comments on possibly offensive themes.

Focus On the Family, a Christian but not Catholic organization, hosts a website geared toward deciphering movies and other media provides longer reviews with comments on positive elements and spiritual content as well as violence, sexual content, drug references and crudeness,

My favorite source is "Decent Films is the online home of the film writing of Steven D. Greydanus, who is film critic for the National Catholic Register. A member of Online Film Critics Society and the Faith & Film Critics Circle, he also writes for Christianity Today Movies and Catholic Exchange". Steven gives in depth reviews and an at a glance rating chart.

If you have suggestions for upcoming installments of Make the Connection, please contact me!Peace of Christ to you!
Kerry Madden, Parish Media Liaison

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Make the Connection...Making good choices: Pro-Life Resources

Make the Connection...using new media to strengthen your connection to faith!

I am always trying to teach my children that they have power in this world. Namely, how they spend they their money will influence what products, music and trends are available and popular. I realize they are only two people out of millions but if we all looked at consumption that way, we could change the world for the better. I saw this happen in the very own company I work for. When people unite and God's will is embraced, mountains can be moved!

I try to keep my ears and eyes open to ways I can support companies working to make the world better and on occasion I learn about a company whose advertising, marketing and philanthropic practices are not in line with my own ethical and moral principals. Recently I heard about Sierra Nevada Beer's giving practices and Sam Adams' unethical promotion campaigns. It prompted me to look into some ethical beer alternatives!
(Hint: Trappist monks make some pretty tasty beer: see

While doing some research I found several companies and organizations that promote Pro-Life causes.
1. Crisis pregnancy helps women and men who find themselves faced with an unexpected pregnancy and Silent No More assists people who have experienced abortion to heal.
2. Priests for Life has a voters guide to the upcoming election to help choose candidates wisely.
3. Pro-Life Communications provides phone service
4. Life Decisions International researches and reports on companies who support Planned Parenthood and organizes boycotts.
5. Heritage House sells many items to display a pro life message: pins, bumper stickers, t-shirts and more.
6. Promise Checks prints checks with a pro life message.

While this seems like a daunting task, to scrutinize each product we purchase, store we frequent and company we work for, I think the small choices we make every day can have an impact.

If you have suggestions for companies that are pro-ethical and moral choices, please contact me to add in upcoming installments of Make the Connection.
Peace of Christ to you!
Kerry Madden

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Make the Connnection: Health and Fitness with Christ!

Make the Connection...using new media to strengthen your connection to faith!

How's your health these days? Feeling great about it? Did you run in the local Road Race? Bike down the Rail Trail? Chase the kids/grandkids around the yard?

If not, are you wishing you could? Or just wanting to feel like you are on a path of wellness?

Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit (See I Corinthians 6: 19-20). Those of you, who know me, know I value fitness, cooking nutritiously and eating healthy meals. So, my picks in new media this week center on living a healthy lifestyle and giving back to those in need through fitness!

Get started with the Healthy Catholic show! a video series with one of my favorite Catholic priests Father Roderick Vonhogen.

Want to learn more about healthy eating? Check out Parishioner Julie Hanagan is a Certified Health Counselor. Her goal is to "guide you to find the food and lifestyle choices that best support you". She will "help you to make gradual, lifelong changes that enable you to reach your current and future health goals".

Need a coach for fitness? Check out It is both "an online and in-person fitness coaching business". Owner Greg Cheney is a "pastor and certified fitness coach". His fitness programs "focus on total life change and not temporary success. He coaches clients in-person and thousands of miles away via the Internet and phone". Although this is not a Catholic site, I found it interesting. "Pursue Genuine Faith and LifelongFitness at"

I have enjoyed using This online healthy lifestyle community has a mission to "SPARK millions of PEOPLE to reach their goals and lead healthier lives". They "offer nutrition, health, and fitness tools, support, and resources that are 100% free." Among the support teams, you will find "Fired Up Catholics", "Catholic Bible Study" and more! Also not a Catholic site but I find it super helpful.

Need to find a route to walk or jog in your neighborhood without getting in the car first to check the distance? Check out to create or find a route.

So by September you should be ready to join me in a road race/walk! Use your healthy body and faith focus to help a worthy cause: St. Charles Children's Home, an “intermediate group home for children from families in crisis” run by a group of religious sisters whose focus is on the physical and spiritual well being of the children placed in their home.
First check this out: and
Then join me for a road race to benefit the Home on Labor Day this year!

Or check out to find other events.

If you have questions or suggestions about "Make the Connection", feel free to contact me!
Peace of Christ to you!
Kerry Madden, The Catholic Parish Media Liaison