Dear Brothers & Sisters,
Each day is getting harder and harder to watch TV. Between the catastrophic news, political and ideological agenda getting pushed all over, and TV shows/movies that are not appropriate, there is not much left. But is there a good resource for a family night program, child friendly shows, or even for information about our faith? YES, there are some good platforms out there that are family and faith friendly!
Personally, I don't have much time left in my day to watch a movie or some TV show. The little time that I have I spend most of it trying to find something that is appropriate and healthy to watch. Besides finding a movie here and there, I started watching some old movies and TV shows, such as “Pluto” and “Good Will Hunting.” These programs are clean, have an edifying message and are truly entertaining. However there are so many of the good oldies out there. I have spoken in the past about this platform called FORMED.ORG that has a vast catalogue of movies, TV shows, interviews, documentaries, cartoons for kids, audiobooks, and more. And the best of it, the parish pays a fee to make it FREE FOR ALL PARISHIONERS. It’s a great source of entertainment that edifies us and helps us to be closer to God. Below I will recommend some of my favorite movies. I don’t personally use it, but I also heard that Hallow has a good variety of faith-based programs, besides all the prayers that the App contains. There are some YouTube Channels that are also a good source of knowledge and entertainment. I suppose by now many people have already watched the series “Chosen”. They have their own free app, but it can also be seen in other platforms as well.
You may have heard the saying that says “the eyes are the window to the soul.” Once I heard from a neurologist that the brain can retain images for about 14 years. Therefore, everything that we watch, even a brief scene, stays with us for quite a while. There are also studies that show how the acceptance of misbehavior can happen through TV shows. We experience a lot of confusion in the youth today, because the roles are not as well defined as in the past. Back in the day the good guy was good and the bad was bad. The lines are no longer so well defined, but rather blurred. Not too long ago there was a world-famous Spanish series on Netflix called “Money Heist” (La Casa de Papel). It narrates an intricate mind-twisting plan of a group who wants to carry out the biggest heist in history. The producers made it in such a way that the robbers are seen as heroes. The crowd ends up cheering for those who want to do wrong. This is happening more often across the board, which should make parents aware of what some shows are teaching the children. There is a misrepresentation and a confusion on the roles that they represent. Much more can be said regarding the content of TV shows and movies that are out there.
None of that occurs at Formed.org. That platform, which I often call the Catholic Netflix, contains a universe of content. From documentaries that explain better the sacraments, podcasts and interviews with many awesome faith-filled experts, great cartoons to great audiobooks. By now many of you know how much I like the saints. I believe that all my favorite saint’s movies are there (I Prefer Heaven; Padre Pio – Miracle Man; Don Bosco – Mission to Love; The Reluctant Saint; Saint Rita; Mother Teresa; St. Giuseppe Moscati; Karol; Maria Goretti; Restless Heart; among others. In order to CREATE A FREE ACCOUNT, go to the website “formed.org”, choose the option “sign up as a parishioner”, then insert the zip code of Marlboro (01752), our parish will appear, click on it, then by clicking “next”, you will be asked to enter your name and email. A verification link will be sent to you (check your junk mail in case you didn’t get it), and you will be given access to all their content FOR FREE. If you would like to download their App, only once the account was created can you do so. If you experience any difficulty, please reach out to our parish office and we will help you. This type of content will certainly exhort, encourage us to live holy virtues as the saints did. It will also help us better understand our Church and our faith so that we can love them even more. The content has almost everything in Spanish as well. On the app, you can scroll down to see all the different categories in both languages. There are also a variety of programs for children as well. On Youtube I watched a couple of videos from the saints (like cartoons) from a channel called “Christian Family TV”. Besides the life of the saints, they also have Bible stories for kids and much more. It’s worth checking for our children and grandchildren.
Not all the internet is bad. We only need some help to navigate and sort out the wheat and the weed!
Father Steven Clemence