by WIGA AUTET
A private screening of Paul, Apostle of Christ on Thursday, May 31, at Cathay Cinemas in Kerikeri turned out to be an extraordinary success. What had started as a “personal interest of a few Catholics” in seeing that film — became a “full house” Christian event and a completely “sold-out” (145 seats) screening.
Members of other local Christian churches joined numerous Catholics from Kerikeri, Waitaruke, Kaikohe, Moerewa/Paihia/Russell parishes and — for almost two hours — the local cinema hall had become space and time for an ecumenical fellowship affirming common values and faith.
The film (by Affirm Films) focuses on the last period of St Paul’s life, while he is being held prisoner in Rome and is being visited by his friend, St Luke.
It is about conversion, forgiveness and grace. Paul had changed from murdering Christians to becoming their revered leader. His life personifies “forgiveness”, a much needed virtue today. His proclamation “where sin abounds . . . grace abounds more” gives hope to all who are searching for justice, compassion and God’s mercy in the modern world.
Given the screening’s success at Kerikeri, the number of those who had missed out, plus those who are “newly” keen or wish to see the movie again — there were given another chance to witness Paul’s wisdom and firm stand for his faith with a second screening of the movie on June 19 at Cathay Cinemas in Kerikeri.