Photo above from Ten Commandments from Paramount Pictures

layman

/ˈlā-mən/ n. 1. A non-ordained male member of a Church.

                    2. A person without professional or specialized knowledge in a particular subject. 

I hate to go with the lazy "Merriam Webster Dictionary defines '(*subject of high school paper/speech/college dissertation*)' as such..." intro at which English teachers always roll their eyes and vigorously detest for my "About Me" page. Nevertheless, it seems to be an a propos way of identifying who I am and what gives me the gall to attempt to write movie reviews and talk about film in the context of Faith (I got those definitions from the Oxford Dictionary, in case anyone at home is fact checking my oddly specific reference-based bits). 

Me and my little niece!

Me and my little niece!

My name is Jack, and I am, in fact, a layman within the context of both of the above definitions. I was born and raised in the Catholic Faith by two loving parents along with four older, Irish Catholic brothers. I have yet to feel an overwhelming vocation to the priesthood, and seeing as how I currently have a pretty serious girlfriend and do envision getting married to someone, whether it's to her or whomever God has in mind, somewhere down the line, I anticipate that God's Plan for me is to remain a layman within His Church. Of course, what do I know? He's probably laughing at my ill-conceived plans and childish ignorance as we speak! The important thing to note is as I write to you now and talk about the Faith in the context of film, I am not doing so as a clergyman or some learned theologian with years of formal, Masters-level education. I'm simply a guy trying to find God in something I truly enjoy (i.e. movies) and share those thoughts and insights with you to the best of my knowledge and ability. 

This brings me to the point that I am a layman when it comes to movies too. I have no formal educational background when it comes to anything related to film and am certainly no expert when it comes to the subject. In fact, I studied finance and am currently in the military. From an early age, however, I have fostered an immense passion for movies of all genres, and over the years (and with a little help from those who know quite a bit more than me about everything that goes into making a movie), I've picked up a few things along the way, to the point where I can speak somewhat intelligently about various aspects of film. While the majority of my development into a functioning, moral human being came from my Catholic upbringing, movies have always been there to fill in the gaps, or even more accurately, help me apply my Catholic principles and viewpoint to tremendous stories in which the morally correct answer may not be immediately evident......That, and movies are just so dang entertaining and helped develop my sense of imagination and wonder growing up. 

To put it all into a nice, easily-digestible package, I'm just an average Catholic struggling his way through sin to, hopefully, live a moral life immersed in grace who also happens to love talking about movies. My hope is that this project will allow me to combine these two great loves of mine into something that you might find entertaining, inspiring, informative, or all of the above. 


But then I thought: when one has a vocation, does it have to be clerical? Can’t you act out those tenets of whatever you believe in your own life without wearing a priest’s collar?
— Martin Scorsese, Catholic Herald interview