The Christmas story as told by the animals in the manger

"The Star" is a delightful animated tale that skillfully balances religious themes such as prayer and forgiveness with a secular message about pursuing your dreams -- along with a healthy dose of entertainment.

New museum tells the story of the Bible — chapter and verse

With its opening to the public Nov. 18, the Museum of the Bible will tell visitors how the Bible -- both Old Testament and New Testament -- has intersected society and at times even transformed it.

Life of African-American priest told through play ‘From Slave to Priest’

The life of Father Augustus Tolton already reads like a novel and now it is immortalized on stage with the new play "Tolton: From Slave to Priest," produced by St. Luke Productions from Battle Ground, Washington.

A look at China’s religious landscape leaves out today’s Catholic scene

If there is one consistency to contemporary Chinese belief systems and practices, it is inconsistency, the author makes clear.

Smart teens, gruesome scenes make a scarier ‘Stranger Things 2’

In an age of terrorism and suspicion about government officials, this Netflix saga's appeal is easy to understand. It's unfortunate that the producers depict so much carnage to capture their audience's attention.

It’s a dark, mysterious trip for ‘Murder on the Orient Express’

Even if you know where the tracks are headed, this retold journey with its all-star cast is enjoyable. The characters' choices might form the basis for a family discussion about the balance between divine and human justice.

Filmmaker of ‘Novitiate’ had little Catholic grounding, and it shows

While the movie relies heavily on the "Bride of Christ" metaphor for religious life and the love nuns have for their spouse, God, it gets its subject matter wrong on many levels, leading to a well-earned R rating.

Catholics praise miniseries for even tone on historical drama

The notorious Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in which militant Catholics attempted to blow up King James I and his parliament, was a reaction to the brutal persecution of England's outlawed Catholic Church. The BBC portrays the episode in a three-part drama.

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ mixes fighting and fun on a grand scale

The Nordic deities continue to vie for power in the latest installment of the Marvel Comics series. The lack of gore, humorous overtones and surprising character complexity make the film suitable for older teens and adults.

Books highlight papal advice on ministry, diaconate as ‘vocation of joy’

A new collection of talks by Pope Francis to clergy underscores the need to minister compassionately, taking on "the smell of the sheep." In a separate work, a New Jersey deacon highlights the key role of joy in ministry.