First Friday Series

Every first Friday, we sponsor a special event – a film screening, panel discussion, presentation, or talk on a topic of interest.

Talk and Discussion: On Christus Vivit

April 5, 2019 @ 6:30pm, St. Paul Church, Library

On March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation, Pope Francis signed a new apostolic exhortation. The title is Christus vivit, “Christ lives.” This document expresses the results of last October’s Synod of Bishops in Rome, on “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.” The text of the document will be released on April 2nd. To mark this release, Jon Sozek, our Faith Formation Director, will offer a presentation on Friday, April 5th at 6:30pm in the Library at St. Paul Church. Jon will speak about the structure and background of the document, then all present will be invited to discuss some selections from the document in small groups. Light refreshments will be served. Please come if you can to learn about this important new statement from our pope.

Here is some footage of Pope Francis officially signing Christus Vivit on March 25th at the the Basilica of the Holy House in Loreto, Italy.

Film Screening: Of Gods and Men

March 1, 2019 @ 6:30pm, St. Paul Church, Library

The film tells the story of nine Trappist monks living in a monastery in Algeria in the mid-1990s and their tragic circumstances amidst the Algerian Civil War. It raises profound questions about interreligious relations and the dangers of violence. We offer this screening in connection with the recent joint statement by Pope Francis and Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azar, entitled “Human Fraternity” (released Feb 4, 2019). Copies of the document will be available at the screening.

Film Screening: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

February 1, 2019 @ 6:30pm, St. Paul Church, Library

Come see the new film Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, on the life and work of Fred Rogers. The film’s message of kindness and love is of universal value.

Film Screening: Pope Francis: A Man of His Word

December 7, 2018 @ 7:00pm, St. Paul Church, Library

Come see the new film by award-winning director Wim Wenders, Pope Francis: A Man of His Word. The film is being released on DVD this week and we bring it to you as the December installment of our First Friday series.

Public talk: “Two New Saints: Pope St. Paul VI and St. Oscar Romero”

November 2, 2018 @ 6:30pm, St. Paul Church, Library

Come learn about Pope St. Paul VI and Archbishop St. Oscar Romero, both canonized this month by Pope Francis. Dr. Jon Sozek will speak about the lives and legacies of these two major figures of Catholic life in the past half century, and consider what these two seemingly quite different persons had in common. Talk to be followed by some open discussion.

Film Screening: Summer in the Forest

October 5, 2018 @ 6:30pm, St. Paul Church, Library

Come learn about the inspiring and heartwarming story of the L’Arche community, founded by Jean Vanier as a welcoming home especially for persons with developmental disabilities. This 2017 film reminds us of the simple fact of our shared humanity and the beauty of friendship and community. It’s a wonderful kick-off to our new First Fridays series! Here’s the trailer:

From the producers, we read the following: “Like countless others Philippe, Michel, Andre and Patrick were labeled ‘idiots’, locked away and forgotten in violent asylums, until the 1960s, when the young philosopher Jean Vanier took a stand and secured their release – the first time in history that anyone had beaten the system. Together they created L’Arche, a commune at the edge of a beautiful forest near Paris. A quiet revolution was born.

“Now in his 80s, and still at L’Arche, Jean has discovered something that most of us have forgotten – what it is to be human, to be foolish, and to be happy.

“SUMMER IN THE FOREST invites us to abandon the rat race and forge new friendships. Amid the ancient trees, Philippe, Patrick, Jean and the others welcome us into their lives. If there are rules to break, they will be broken and if there is a truth to be told, they will tell it. Michel reveals his war torn past, Andre is desperate for a date, and young David will prove himself a hero in the fight against the forces of evil.”