"Hello everyone, and thank you. Thank you, Faustina and Mary and all the Bowens, for having me here tonight. This is very exciting!
I always feel inadequate when I'm asked to speak about the arts and about film in particular because I've only learned by doing and not really by education but I suppose we can set that aside for a second and just say that that's a valid way of learning, right?
For those of you who don't know me: my name is Jim Morlino. My company is called Navis Pictures and we produced a couple of films years back that seem to have been a bit of an inspiration for the Bowen family and for other aspiring filmmakers.
I cannot tell you how much of an inspiration the Bowens have been for me. You know for us--for me and my wife, Fran, too, and my family, my children who participated in our movies and all of our homeschooled Catholic friends who participated in the movies that we made.
For our movies to have had the impact and the reach that they've had is edifying. And so, years ago, when I was started to get interviewed on EWTN and news people were coming after me and wanting to pick my brains and know what we would do...Well, no.
A friend of mine gave me the Litany of Humility by Cardinal Merry del Val, the press secretary of Pius the X. What a great prayer! The Litany of Humility--"That I might be passed over and others exalted over me." Wow! So, anyway, I pray that prayer every single day at Mass.
So I thank the Bowens really for their love for me and for their respect for what we have tried to do and I celebrate what they are moving forward with.
You know you are about to see the the result of a couple of young ladies and, of course, their brothers and sisters and their parents. Thank you, Matt and Kathleen. Thank you for hosting me a few years back when I came to visit you and to attend a movie premiere.
What a glorious moment that was in my little career! You're going see in this new movie, the fruit that has developed over several years where the Bowen family has taken whatever inspiration they might have gleaned from me and from what we have done.
They've taken it to another level, you know, but it all comes back to where we started which is why we should we use this medium of film to tell good, Catholic stories.
It is to remind the viewer of themselves, of the truth, of their souls, and what their ultimate destiny is: union with God.
So art for millennia has been a mirror for the human soul to see themselves in what is played out in front of them.
Whether it's the Greeks and their tragedies, or whether it's the medieval mystery plays reminding the faithful or informing and teaching the faithful as to what their ultimate destiny is and how they should comport themselves. All of this is wrapped up in a glorious medium that we call art.
Through art, one can take a fact or a fiction and present it to an audience such that the audience will be drawn into that drama and hopefully see themselves and it should be as a mirror to the soul so that we the audience can see something in what these artists are doing that perfects us or improves us or challenges us or begs questions.
So for me and my wife, Fran, to have started out several years ago doing these little films with Catholic homeschoolers like this audience and to see that it has garnered such a reaction--such an influence is a great, great blessing to us.
So I would encourage the Bowen family--Mary, Faustina and Matt and Kathleen and I'm forgetting all the other names, but you know who you are--to continue in this endeavor because you're using the tools that you have available to you to communicate great stories to inspire the faithful, to inspire the spiritual life of Catholics and, by God's grace, hopefully others beyond our sphere for conversion, right?
By representing the truth of the Catholic Faith in our history as God's creatures, we will in some way assist in the great command which is to spread the gospel.
That's what the Bowens are doing. They're spreading the gospel.
And so I commend you girls--you ladies, Faustina and Mary--and Matt and Kathleen and the rest of your beautiful children and everyone. I commend you for using what you have available to communicate great stories to the world around you.
And I predict that, within a short number of years, we may see Kathleen and Matt and Faustina, Mary, Patrick and all the rest of the Bowens on a very grand stage. Because that's what this is about: taking what is a sort of ghetto--in a certain sense "ghetto"--Traditional Catholic understanding of our journey of Faith and expressing it and presenting it to a wider audience.
That wider audience being our Novus Ordo Catholic brethren our protestant friends and then even the unchurched and the agnostics and the atheist.
For you to begin to produce and present the truth of the Catholic faith and its heroes and its martyrs and its drama in all its beauty and splendor to a wider audience will only bear great fruit.
So, God bless you both! Girls, I love you so much--you know how much I love you. And to your parents, Matt and Kathleen, thank you so much for hosting me a few years back if you remember which was one of the high points of my career when I came out to California.
Now you're in this glorious landscape which you will see in this film being taken advantage of. The girls utilize the landscape they've been given, the glory of God's creation. That's one thing that I especially notice in this new movie.
I just want to encourage you to keep doing that. Bowens, keep doing that and know that your reward will be great in heaven.
Thank you so much for having me, and God bless you all. Keep telling the great stories. Keep perfecting your art. Keep utilizing what little means you may have available to a greater end.
Your reward will be great. God bless you all. Take care."
-Jim Morlino, Navis Pictures
Given at the Pelayo Premiere, April 12th, 2023