Daily Archives: December 18, 2012

Alfred Hitchcock never lost his faith

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By Mark Ellis
ASSIST News Service

A Jesuit priest called to the home of internationally acclaimed film director Alfred Hitchcock at the end of his life maintains he never lost his faith, contrary to the opinion of some historians.

“A biographer said that the director, at the end of his life, shunned religion. Not true. I was there,” says Fr. Mark Henninger, a Jesuit priest and professor of philosophy at Georgetown University, writing in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

In 1980, Henninger was a graduate student in philosophy at UCLA as well as a priest. A fellow priest, Tom Sullivan, knew Hitchcock and invited Henninger to accompany him one Saturday afternoon to “hear Hitchcock’s confession” and “celebrate a Mass,” according to the WSJ article.

“I entered his home in Bel-Air to see him dozing in a chair in a corner of his living room, dressed in jet-black pajamas,” Henninger writes. “Tom gently shook him. Hitchcock awoke, looked up and kissed Tom’s hand.”

Sullivan introduced Hitchcock to Henninger as a “young priest from Cleveland.”

“Cleveland?” he said. “Disgraceful!”

Hitchcock’s wife, Alma, joined the three in Hitchcock’s study, where they celebrated Mass. “Hitchcock had been away from the church for some time, and he answered the responses in Latin the old way,” Henninger notes in the WSJ.

But it was the director’s emotional response that gripped the young priest in an unforgettable way. “The most remarkable sight was that after receiving communion, he silently cried, tears rolling down his huge cheeks.”

Henninger went back several more times to celebrate Mass with the English film director, visits always initiated by Hitchcock. After briefly engaging in small talk in the living room, Hitchcock would say, “Let’s have Mass.”

“He died soon after these visits and his funeral Mass was at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Beverly Hills,” Henninger recounts.

“Why exactly Hitchcock asked Tom Sullivan to visit him is not clear to us and perhaps was not completely clear to him. But something whispered in his heart, and the visits answered a profound human desire, a real human need,” Henninger notes in the WSJ.

Henninger observes that at least one biographer mistakenly thought that Hitchcock rejected any visits by priests to celebrate Mass at the end of his life. “That in the movie director’s final days he deliberately and successfully led outsiders to believe precisely the opposite of what happened is pure Hitchcock.”


Donovan has important message in book ‘The Hard Way’

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Special to Inside The Pew

TULSA, Okla. – When his self-destructive nature spiraled out of control and threatened to take his life, Jeremy Donovan found salvation and redemption through God, turning his life around to become healthy and successful.

In his new book, “The Hard Way,” Donovan shares his story and the lessons to be learned from it with his readers, helping to save them from having to learn the hard way, “The hard way is not the way to go. It’s, well, hard. Even when things seem fun and you’re getting away with it, that boulder can come and take you out.”

When Donovan hit rock bottom, he saw no way off of the path that he was on, “I was at rock bottom and saw no way out… but I hadn’t bargained for God’s intervention!” After he attempted to OD on drugs and pills, God clearly spoke to his heart, urging him, “Quit trying and get help.”

Donovan, who now serves as youth pastor of Destiny Life church, a multi-campus church in the Tulsa, Okla., area. urges his readers who are on a similar path to ask God to help them change, “Right this moment, you can stop, pray, and ask God to search your heart. Then ask Him to help you change, and show you how to change. He is faithful and He will answer that prayer.”

He reminds readers that God’s message to each of us is, “‘I love you so much. You are my favorite and I am proud of you. I want what is best for you. Trust in me to give you the desires of your heart.’” It is this message that will ultimately carry Donovan’s readers through their trials and help them to find the grace that they need to see them through the long road back to the right path.

Making these choices helps readers to “close the doors to destruction” and rewrite their legacies.

In 2008, he along with friend and ministry-partner, Matt Moore, founded “The SOZO Movement,” a series of testimonies from everyday people sharing the love and power of Jesus Christ.

Donovan’s show airs on Revolution TV (ReVTV), http://RevTV.com, a live streaming network that broadcasts in hi-definition over the Internet, mobile devices, and IPTV.

Learn more about Donovan at http://jeremydonovan.me/