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November 1, 2007 Edition

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Bella: This is a beautiful movie you can't miss

-- Updated: 11/08/2007, 5:20 p.m. Central Time, to list both Point Cinema and Eastgate Cinemas as the Madison theaters where Bella will be opening on Nov. 9.

It all started with three guys and a dream.

Leo Severino was an attorney at 20th Century Fox. Alejandro Monteverde was in a "boy band." Eduardo Verástegui was a former soap opera "heart throb" in Mexico.

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In 2004, all three of them met at daily Mass in an unlikely place: Hollywood, Calif. These three guys had been growing individually in their faith. But their meeting - not by chance, but perhaps inspired by divine providence - brought them together for a purpose.

They have a vision. They talked about a vision: creating films that made a difference and touched hearts. Within a few weeks they had started a new company, Metanoia Films.

Since then it's been "miracle after miracle after miracle," Leo Severino said in a film screening in 2006 in Madison. "Our mission is to do stuff that Our Blessed Mother could see."

Beautiful film. Their first project is a beautiful film appropriately called Bella. Severino is the producer, Monteverde the director, and Verástegui the star.

Verástegui also came to the Madison screening. Known as the "Brad Pitt of Latin America," he had been seduced by power, money, and fame. He came to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career.

Once in Hollywood, he said, "I realized how empty I was. I realized I wasn't happy. Something was missing." His involvement with Metanoia Films has given his life meaning and purpose.

Heartwarming story. I was privileged to see Bella at the screening and absolutely loved the movie!

The film's promotion materials say: "Bella is a heartwarming story that celebrates life, love, family, and relationships." For once, a promo piece hits the mark! This movie tells a love story that goes much deeper than romance.

I do not want to give away the story of Bella. It is indeed one of the most touching movies I've ever seen. It has a pro-life message, but it is not preachy. The performances by Verástegui and Tammy Blanchard are riveting.

It is no surprise that Bella won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival. Perhaps even more importantly, the late Pope John Paul II blessed Metanoia Films. The Holy Father emphasized that morality and art can go hand in hand.

Opening in Madison. Bella will open in Madison on the weekend of November 9 at Point Cinema and Eastgate Cinemas (see list of showtimes). The Diocese of Madison and Relevant Radio are promoting attendance with free tickets obtained through the Web site at www.relevantradio.com

The Bishop O'Connor Center will also be available for youth groups to use for after-the-movie discussions. Contact Susanna Herro at 608-821-3087 or susanna.herro@straphael.org to make arrangements.

Don't miss this powerful movie. Encourage your family and friends to see Bella. Let's hope it is the first of many other beautiful films to come.

Mary C. Uhler

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We reserve the right to edit or reject letters. Limit letters to 200 words or less. All letters must be signed. Please include your city or town of residence.

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702 S. High Point Rd.
Madison, WI 53719-3522

Fax: 608-821-3071
E-mail: info@madisoncatholicherald.org
Would appreciate tours
of diocesan facilities

To the editor:

We just recently received the "Fall" edition of the Catholic Multicultural Center newsletter. One of the interesting things was an invitation to "tour" the center and observe its services.

I have never been on the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Center grounds and don't ever recall any invitation to tour this giant complex. I have read of the beauty of the worship area along with what I believe, an adjoining chapel.

Apparently much of the original structure has changed since it is no longer a seminary. I believe that many people of the diocese would like to tour this edifice along with other structures such as Bishop Bullock's former residence, administrative offices, and the All Saints Retirement Center.

Please consider advertising and arranging "tours" of this fine complex for the parishioners of our diocese.

Jerry Maly, Waunakee

Editor's note: Tours of the Bishop O'Connor Center were offered after it was remodeled. The center's chapel is open to the public during normal business hours. Mass is offered there every weekday at 12 noon. All Saints Retirement Center is also open to tours.

Beautiful example of faith in story on Deanna Favre

To the editor:

I cannot tell you enough how much I enjoyed reading your article on Deanna Favre (October 18 issue [print edition only]). Every adjective describing the beauty of this article could not be descriptive enough.

There it is, a wonderful example of faith in God and the beautiful reward. I didn't want the story to end.

One can see in these later years the effect of our beautiful Catholic faith on Deanna's loving husband, Brett.

This article could be a novel in itself and available to any and all that relish the beauty and love of our faith.

Al Hiebing, Cross Plains

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Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
Offices and mailing address: Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Rd., Madison, WI 53719
Phone: 608-821-3070     Fax: 608-821-3071     E-Mail: info@madisoncatholicherald.org