Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

As we celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the Archdiocese, we look back… on July 22, 1960 when ground was broken for St. Philip Church, East Windsor.
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20110401cnsbr05094 webPatrick Wilson, Ty Simpkins and Rose Byrne star in a scene from the movie "Insidious." (CNS photo/Film District)NEW YORK (CNS) – Once again into The Further we go for "Insidious: Chapter 2," although we learn not much more about that astral plane than we did in the 2011 first installment of this fright series.

Maybe director James Wan, who shares writing credits with Leigh Whannell, is still figuring out life after death. Anyway, The Further – which two years ago we called "a reasonably ambitious Halloween house" between the world of the living and Paradise – is merely a darkened studio set with fog machines.

Sometimes the righteous among the dolorously departed therein, needing light to spot their pals, carry Coleman lanterns – sort of like Diogenes looking for an honest man. Lots of moaning goes on there as well.

In the original, Wan and Whannell only sent one child, Dalton Lambert (Ty Simpkins) into this less-than-great beyond during one of his dream trances, and father Josh (Patrick Wilson) had to go after him. This time, Josh starts out occupied by a dead person's spirit, which sets up further spooky doings; up to four characters at a time, including Dalton, are Further-bound.

You'd think the Lambert family might want to move out of their charming Victorian gingerbread house, or at least buy some WD-40 for all those creaking doors. But no, they stay to tough it out with the spirit world.

Their place is haunted – well, pestered by – two demonic ghoulies. One, Parker Crane, was a serial killer known as the "Bride in Black" because he wore a wedding gown while slaying 15 people.

Though dead, Parker (played by various actors and stunt people) continues to have anger issues because his mother (Danielle Bisutti) – our other unfriendly ghost – used to dress him up as a girl.

No one tries any exorcising; baseball bats and fists are the preferred weapons for the finale in the basement. We also learn, thanks to a visit to a boarded-up hospital with an intact records room, that Parker was a Catholic. Happily, this informational nugget is not developed.

Ghostbusters Specs and Tucker (Whannell and Angus Sampson) return for comic relief, and actress Elise Rainier – whose character, medium Lin Shaye, was killed in the first film – evidently signed a two-picture contract.

The film contains physical violence, intense scenes involving children and fleeting profane and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III – adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 – parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Kurt Jensen is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.

alertAt the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation ofbishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to anHHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip. 

  1. Backgrounder and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.
  2. At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
  3. Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”
  4. At an opening Mass he Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Massgoers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us,”

A delegation of U.S. bishops goes on a fact-finding mission at the U.S.-Mexican border to learn more about Central American immigration detention.

Following their visit to an immigrant detention center, U.S. bishops said they are even more determined to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.