Thursday, October 30, 2014

PARANORMAL MIRACLES THROUGH CLEMENTE FILM HASTEN CANONIZATION, MEETING WITH POPE

Catholic News Wire
Rome
A cinematic homage to the saintly qualities of baseball Hall-of-Famer Roberto Clemente, has resulted in a manifestation of miracles associated with viewings of the film "Baseball's Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories."  The paranormal experiences are hastening the movement to canonize Clemente as a saint and speed up a meeting with Pope Francis.

The Los Angeles Times reported director Richard Rossi has been gathering evidence of miracles to support the cause to canonize Clemente. Rossi has stated his belief that Clemente qualifies as a Christlike martyr because he died to save others in a humanitarian rescue mission to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

According to a letter Rossi sent to Pope Francis and the archbishop of Clemente’s native Puerto Rico: “Roberto Clemente was not only the best rightfielder of all time in his 18 seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but was also an imitator of Christ, dying to save others, on a mission of mercy to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. My film shows Clemente exemplified the Scripture, ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends’ ”

Viewers of the film have alleged they felt a supernatural presence and received healings of various ailments ranging from heart problems and back pains to cancer.

Under normal circumstances, miracles are considered much later in the process, after the church has officially opened a sainthood cause. Catholic teaching says miracles attributed to a saint — two are needed for canonization, after his or her death — are evidence that the person has God’s ear in heaven.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

CLEMENTE ONE STEP CLOSER TO SAINTHOOD

Archbishop Roberto Octavio Gonzalez
PUERTO RICO'S ARCHBISHOP SENDS SUPPORT LETTER  
Looking At 21's Catholic Roots 
               
                        
Roberto Clemente's canonization campaign took a major leap forward today. Puerto Rican Archbishop Roberto Octavio Gonzalez Nieves responded to the campaign for Clemente's sainthood with a gracious letter of support and assigned Richard Rossi the task of investigating Clemente's Catholic ties. 

Rossi, director of "Baseball's Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories" a film focusing on Clemente's spiritual side, had already received several encouraging letters regarding his efforts to make Clemente the next saint, including a letter from Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  The Puerto Rican Archbishop's response was an important step because he has jurisdiction in the Diocese where Clemente perished in a mission of mercy to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

"Clemente was known to some as a Catholic, and to others as a Baptist," Rossi said. "The Archbishop asked me to document his Catholic ties so we can move forward." Rossi sent his response documenting his findings regarding Clemente's Catholic roots on the MVP right-fielder's 80th birthday, answering as follows:

"Roberto Clemente was baptized in the Catholic Church, beginning his sacramental life. Father Alvin Gutierrez, who ministered to Clemente in Pittsburgh, told Inside the Vatican investigative writer William Doino Jr. that he was in contact with a parish priest in Puerto Rico who sent Father Gutierrez a copy of Roberto's baptismal certificate. Roberto was Catholic from the outset of his life to the end of his life.  Roberto was married in San Fernando Roman Catholic Church on November 14, 1964 on the plaza in Carolina officiated by Father Salvador Planas in front of thousands of eyewitnesses.  I can share with you photographs and film if you require this. His memorial service was also at San Fernando Roman Catholic Church at 3:30 p.m. shortly after his plane went down.  The Memorial Mass was led by Archbishop Luis Aponte Martinez and witnessed by the Pittsburgh Pirates team in attendance.  As you can see, there is strong and verifiable evidence Roberto Clemente was baptized, married, and memorialized in the Catholic Church.

Clemente was married in San Fernando Roman Catholic Church  
As for the whether he was Baptist and not Catholic, here are the facts: His mother Luisa was an Evangelical Baptist. His father Melchor was a Catholic. Yes, Roberto was ecumenical and appreciated his mother's faith and Baptist roots as a part of his life and spiritual journey. His ecumenical love for his brothers and sisters in Christ in the Baptist church doesn't discount his worthiness of sainthood or his Catholicism, it is a positive and Christlike quality that Roberto could see God working in different churches. He was an intelligent man who took the good from his experiences in the Baptist Church of his mother and the Catholic Church of his father.  He often said we must see others as our brothers and sisters. This in harmony with the Second Vatican Council which states members of other churches are our brethren. Roberto's heart for the world is a saintly characteristic, not a deterrent to the cause. As you know, the Bible says in Acts 2:17 "In the last days, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh..." Though Roberto was Catholic, he had the eyes of Christ to see God in other churches such as the Baptists, and other cultures, and countries beyond his own.


Roberto Clemente's life exhibited faith and the martyrdom of a Christlike death, dying out of compassion to save others. He truly lived the words of our Lord and Saviour in Saint John 15:13 "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."


I prayerfully and respectfully thank you for openness to begin this cause so these matters can be looked into thoroughly.
With highest respect and prayerful hope for this cause,

Richard Rossi"
                 **************************************************************
Poster for "Baseball's Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories"
Due to the overwhelming worldwide interest in the Clemente canonization campaign and the film "Baseball's Last Hero," several news websites crashed due to the volume of hits. This blog is newly created to give up-to-date information on this story alone. Coverage of others stories will continue on other Catholic news sites. For additional coverage of the Clemente campaign/film, recent articles can be Googled and found in the following publications (Partial List): Catholic News Service, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Newsmax, Salt Lake Tribune, Religion News Service, Sporting News, Fox-News, Washington Times, Post Gazette, Tribune Review, Auburn Pub, Charisma News Service, Pittsburgh CBS KDKA local news, Seamheads, Latino LA, Backstage, Valley Star and more.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


CLEMENTE BIOPIC GRASSROOTS FAV FILM OF SUMMER 
Unlikely Summer Hit 'Baseball's Last Hero' Spreads Message of Sacrificial Love   
        
The title "Summer Blockbuster" is usually attributed to big-budget studio films with explosions and special effects helmed by an A-list director like Steven Spielberg or Michael Bay.  

This summer, the baseball biopic "Baseball's Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories," a low budget film about the spiritual side of the late right-fielder Roberto Clemente, lacking the budget of studio fare like Transformers 4 and X-Men, became the most-watched guerrilla movie of the Summer Box-Office Challenge. Big-budget fare plummeted to an all-time low, 44% down in ticket sales for a July 4th weekend, the lowest Independence Day weekend in history.


Audience members pack a community 
theater for recent screening
The Roberto Clemente film, made by a volunteer cast and crew, gained momentum when it catalyzed a campaign to canonize Roberto Clemente as a saint in the Catholic church, as reported by the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post last week.  Clemente died in a humanitarian effort to rescue earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Available on Amazon for rent for just $1.99, lovers of the film organize grass-roots viewing parties in homes (called "micro-cinema screenings"), community centers, art house cinemas, parks, festivals, picnics, and schools. The film's writer-director, Richard Rossi, refers to Clemente as a "mini-Jesus" who exemplified the scripture "Greater love has no man than this, to lay down his life for his friends."

"The film was under the radar initially because it wasn't distributed in a conventional way like a studio film," a source in marketing said.  "A studio has a team of marketers and a budget to buy ads.  The Clemente film has no publicist.  The coverage in the last few weeks across major media has continued to escalate until we had to acknowledge the reach of the film.  It's truly a case of David challenging Goliath."


"Screenings in New York took on a participatory nature not seen since
'The Rocky Horror Picture Show,' with audience members wearing Clemente uniforms."
Screenings in New York and San Francisco took on a participatory nature not seen since "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" with audience members wearing Roberto Clemente Pirate uniforms and shouting "Arriba, Arriba."

"'Baseball's Last Hero' is the anti-summer blockbuster.  It is the polar opposite of the studio blockbusters. It highlights minorities and the struggle for civil rights, it addresses profound spiritual questions about the meaning of life, God, and caring for our neighbor, it relies on the acting and writing rather than special effects, and it leaves the audience in an emotional rather than an escapist state," a source said.

The film has allies inside the church and Clemente communities. Archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez, wrote Rossi a letter in Spanish this week saying, "Count on my prayers for this project and I ask your prayers as well for me."  Archbishop Gomez is considered a powerful Latin American church leader in the United States by the Vatican.  The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest Catholic diocese in the nation, with Hispanics comprising more than two-thirds of the archdiocese's five million Catholics.


Letter from Archbishop to Richard Rossi.
"There's a very small percentage that walk out their faith in the real world as a family-first man, as a husband, as a father, in a secular culture, as a baseball star," Rossi said in an interview published by Religion News Service.
"I haven't heard of lines this long for a film since 'Star Wars'
or  'The Exorcist'," Fran Baker, a fan waiting in line to see the film said.

The film "Baseball's Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories" is available on Amazon for purchase on DVD and for rent through Instant Video.

Note: As reported in Religion News Service, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post, the campaign for Clemente's canonization is collecting letters of support and stories of miracles related to Roberto Clemente. E-mail to ClementeCanonization@gmail.com with your contact information. E-mailing your letter of support and stories grants permission to share publicly.
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Due to the overwhelming worldwide interest in the Clemente canonization campaign and the film "Baseball's Last Hero," several news websites crashed due to the volume of hits. This blog is newly created specifically to give up-to-date information on this story alone. Coverage of others stories will continue on other Catholic news sites. For additional coverage of the Clemente campaign/film, recent articles can be Googled and found in the following publications (Partial List): Catholic News Service, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Newsmax, Salt Lake Tribune, Religion News Service, Sporting News, Fox-News, Washington Times, Post Gazette, Tribune Review, Auburn Pub, Charisma News Service, Pittsburgh CBS KDKA local news, Seamheads, Latino LA, Backstage, Valley Star and more.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

POPE FRANCIS FAVORITE MOVIE?

DOES POPE FRANCIS HAVE A NEW FAVORITE MOVIE?
Pontiff Calls Clemente Film 'Heaven-sent', Cleric Says. Filmmaker 'Cannot Confirm or Deny' Reports
(Catholic News Wire, Rome, Italy)
Pope Francis, said to be "Perfect pope
to canonize Clemente, because they're both
Latin Americans & Francis thinks
outside the box."
(Richard Rossi)
'''Baseball's Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories' is the Pope's favorite film, and he urges all to see it," a pastoral source said, speaking through a translator from Italy where he monitors cultural affairs relating to the church. "The film's catalyzing the commencement of Clemente's canonization as a saint and the Holy Father believes it's an answer to prayer for the conversion of the world. The Pope urges prayers for the film and it's creator Richard Rossi."

Richard Rossi, a lifelong Clemente fan, wrote and directed the baseball biopic to show Clemente's spiritual side. According to a letter Rossi sent to Pope Francis and the archbishop of Clemente’s native Puerto Rico: “Roberto Clemente was not only the best rightfielder of all time in his 18 seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but was also an imitator of Christ, dying to save others, on a mission of mercy to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. My film shows Clemente exemplified the Scripture, ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.’


Rossi told the Los Angeles Times in an article published last week that he has been gathering accounts of miracles that could be attributed to Clemente's healing prayers. The Pittsburgh Pirate icon visited hospitals in every city he played, praying for sick and dying children.

                                                              Richard Rossi 
                                                            (Photo by Teddy Sanders)
According to a new Religion News Service article by Heather Adams published in the Washington Post, Rossi and a group of volunteers are listening to people’s stories about Clemente, and they’re using the scientific tools of X-rays and medical records to verify tales of Clemente’s miraculous healing touch.

Rossi has allies inside the church and Clemente communities. Archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez, wrote him a letter in Spanish this week saying, "Count on my prayers for this project and I ask your prayers as well for me."  Archbishop Gomez is considered the most powerful Latin American church leader in the United States by the Vatican.  The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest Catholic diocese in the nation, with Hispanics comprising more than two-thirds of the archdiocese's five million Catholics.


Letter from Archbishop

Rossi said he has not heard back from Pope Francis yet since mailing his last letter three weeks ago.  "Things like this take time," Rossi said.  "I cannot confirm or deny anything regarding the Pope's feelings for my film unless I hear directly from him.  I don't want to claim an endorsement from him just because others speak for him. I don't want Clemente's cause harmed by people saying ahead of time the Pope likes my movie when he hasn't seen it or that Clemente's cause is already being considered.  The groundswell for the campaign for the Church to honor Roberto Clemente is a grass-roots request and not just media-driven, although we've been blessed by the interest of major media to spread the word. I'm working hard to collect stories to validate the cause. My film shows his life of faith and sacrificial love.  Until I meet with the Pope in person in Rome, I'm under a gag-order and can't confirm or deny anything officially."

Duane Reider, director of the Roberto Clemente Museum said he feels that the most important part is not the way Clemente died, but the way he lived his life for others.


“He’s the only true baseball hero. He’s the only person, player that ever gave up his life helping other people. Everybody else, you know, Babe Ruth wasn’t a hero. He was a hell of a baseball player,” Rieder said. “Roberto Clemente was the only true baseball hero.”
The film is not without opposition, from within and without the Christian ranks. Anti-Christian groups are protesting the film because of it's influence in converting hostile regions to Christianity. Fundamentalists like Daren Moore of the Conservative Christian Coalition oppose the film for it's provocative images of Roberto Clemente on the cross. Rossi defended the images as part of a prophetic dream sequence signifying Clemente's last sacrifice.
                                      Jamie Nieto as Clemente in controversial scene.

The film stars two-time Olympian high jumper Jamie Nieto as Clemente and Project Runway Winner Marilinda Rivera as his wife Vera. The movie is sold on Amazon on both DVD and for a $1.99 instant video rental, contributing to it's viral spread throughout the world.  The Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/clementemovie has garnered over 14,000 likes already.

                                                                The film's poster.
                                                         (Artwork by Matthew Dow)

"There's a very small percentage of people who walk out the teachings of Jesus in the real world like he did," Rossi said. "He died in service to the poor. He was a light in the secular culture, as a family-first man, a husband, a father, a baseball star."

Since international publicity in major media outlets broke the news this week, Rossi been the butt of jokes on late-night talk-shows and online ad hominem attacks on himself.  Rossi says he forgives those who mock his efforts and asks forgiveness for the sins he's committed in his life, and for the imperfections in his film and his efforts to honor Clemente.  

"I chuckle when I hear some say the idea of the Church recognizing Clemente's Christlike and saintly life is 'off-base' and 'out of left field,' but I'm pitching it to the Pope because when you think about how Roberto Clemente lived and died, it's not ridiculous, it makes perfect sense," Rossi said. "My movie shows Clemente as an allegory or type of Christ. He died giving like Jesus did when He forgave everyone, even those crucifying Him.  Jesus prayed, 'Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.'  What can be more saintly than that?"

Note: As reported in Religion News Service, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post, the campaign for Clemente's canonization is collecting letters of support and stories of miracles related to Roberto Clemente. E-mail to ClementeCanonization@gmail.com with your contact information. E-mailing your letter of support and stories grants permission to share publicly.
***************************************************
Due to the overwhelming worldwide interest in the Clemente canonization campaign and the film "Baseball's Last Hero," several news websites crashed due to the volume of hits. This blog is newly created specifically to give up-to-date information on this story alone.  Coverage of others stories will continue on other Catholic news sites. For additional coverage of the Clemente campaign/film, recent articles can be Googled and found in the following publications (Partial List): Catholic News Service, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Newsmax, Salt Lake Tribune, Religion News Service, Sporting News, Fox-News, Washington Times, Post Gazette, Tribune Review, Auburn Pub, Charisma News Service, Pittsburgh CBS KDKA local news, Seamheads, Latino LA, Backstage, Valley Star and more.