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US Catholic university honours Australian movie priest

Missionary of the Sacred Heart Fr Peter Malone, world president of the International Catholic Organisation for Cinema and Audiovisual, has received the 2001 Daniel J. Kane Religious Communications Award from the University of Dayton's Institute for Pastoral Initiatives.

Fr Malone's selection honours his three decades of film study and research from a Catholic perspective, said Sister Angela Ann Zukowski, a Mission Helper of the Sacred Heart, who is director of the institute.

An Australian currently living in London, Fr Malone is the author of a dozen books on film, including Films and Values and Movie Christs and Antichrists. His forthcoming book, Lights, Camera, Faith: A Movie Lectionary, will tie films to specific Sunday and holy day Gospel readings and suggest a focus for conversation.

"When people start sharing their faith and talking, they often get a profound experience," Malone said. "There is an explicit image of Jesus in the 1988 film The Last Temptation of Christ, from the novel about the Gospel, although Willem Dafoe tends to be something of a shouting Jesus. It's an available source and a great starting point for conversation."

The Daniel J. Kane Religious Communications Award, named for the former communication director of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, is given to people who have made a lifetime contribution to religious communication.

CNS/University of Dayton