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 17, 1891 when Bishop Lawrence S. McMahon dedicated St. Bernard Church, Enfield.
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20180710T1148 18259 CNS MOVIE REVIEW HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 250Animated characters appear in the movie "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation." (CNS photo/Sony) NEW YORK (CNS) -- Like the excursion around which it's built, the animated kids' comedy "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" (Sony) makes for a pleasant diversion.

If it's more likely to satisfy little ones than grown-ups, director and co-writer (with Michael McCullers) Genndy Tartakovsky's cartoon is at least free of any genuinely objectionable ingredients.

The momentary use of digestive sound effects may strike some parents as a minor nuisance, though. And they should be warned that the danger in which sympathetic characters are placed may be too much for timid tots.

This breezy second sequel to the 2012 original finds Dracula's daughter, Mavis (voice of Selena Gomez), arranging for her overworked father (voice of Adam Sandler) to take a cruise. So he and the other friendly monsters who staff the hostelry of the title -- most prominently cobbled-together creation Frank (voice of Kevin James), invisible man Griffin (voice of David Spade) and werewolf Wayne (voice of Steve Buscemi) -- set off for the high seas.

Once onboard, widowed Drac falls for the ship's captain, Erika (voice of Kathryn Hahn), but feels torn between romance and family responsibilities, especially toward Mavis. He also fails to realize that Erika has a secret conflict of her own based on the legacy of her vampire-hunting ancestors, embodied by her artificially preserved great-grandfather, Abraham Van Helsing (voice of Jim Gaffigan).

As Erika veers between attempts to kill Drac and bouts of affection for him, she struggles to overcome the prejudice Abraham has instilled in her according to which all monsters are evil. The underlying message about diversity and tolerance is hardly original, especially for a Hollywood movie. But it's not driven home too heavy-handedly, either.

Though it's anything but graphic, there is quite a bit of mayhem unleashed during this outing, typified by the eventual appearance of a huge sea monster who wreaks havoc on the movie's Las Vegas-like version of the once-lost, but now-retrieved City of Atlantis. And that's not to mention the various heavy objects Erika tries to crush Drac with, including a lifeboat.

At least some youngsters may be a bit overwhelmed by it all. For their sturdier peers, however, there's no real hindrance to prevent them from joining in this celebration of family solidarity and second-time-around courtship.

The film contains much stylized destruction, considerable peril and fleeting scatological humor. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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Mulderig is on the staff of 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.