Father Richard Leonard, an Australian Jesuit and media expert, explains how film can be a gateway to God.
In the 1954 film On the Waterfront, Marlon Brando plays Terry Malloy, a longshoreman who struggles to take a stand against the Mob-controlled union that has made life for workers unbearable. One scene in particular rouses a Catholic spirit. Karl Malden’s Father Barry gathers some of the men at the dock and, standing a few feet from the corrupt bosses, speaks out against the injustices the workers face.
St. Christopher—patron of travelers, protector against toothaches, hailstorms, and sudden death—is one of the most endearing for Catholics. His life and story, bordering somewhere between legend and legitimacy, is a faith-affirming exercise in service, grace, and love.