MOVIE: "Noelle" on TBN

I was flipping through the tv dials and came upon a movie with a priest…it turned out to be a clip of a new movie that Trinity Broadcast Network is promoting for Christmas called Noelle…or some version of that spelling. I tried looking for it today but couldn’t find anything on it. The priest was obviously going through some sort of spiritual crisis…I don’t even know if he’s a Catholic priest…he had a collar. But one clip showed him leaving the altar and his congregation after spilling the contents of a chalice…that really disturbed me. Does anyone know anything about this movie?

“Noel” was a movie that was broadcast on TNT - it is available on DVD apparently, with Robin Williams as a “lapsed priest”.

I found this…it is a Catholic priest and now that I know the chalice spilled was a part of our tradition and seeing the picture…what’s up with this? In the little clip I saw he was with this woman and she was touching his cheek. The little girl, Noelle, I guess an angel?, seems to be helping him find an answer. My question: is this about temptation resisted? I can’t imagine it leads him away from Catholicism. TBN is not Catholic, but they wouldn’t alienate us, would they?

[LEFT]“Father Jonathan Keene - a cold, impatient Catholic priest arrives in a tiny fishing village the week before Christmas to do what he does best: shut down a dying parish. But things take an unexpected turn as he becomes entangled in the various lives of the village’s eccentric characters, including their beautiful librarian, the childlike he is displacing, and the magical experience of Mrs. Worthington’s legendary Christmas Party, where everyone is welcome and anything is possible.
you should drop by…”[/LEFT]

TBN broadcasts Archbishop Sheen’s excellent show, “Life is Worth Living”. Granted, the time slot leaves much to be desired (1:00 - 1:30 AM Pacific Time), but their write-up on the show is surprisingly good:
Life Is Worth Living; His timeless insights give wise, personal and inspiring guidance on the problems affecting our lives in today’s world cover an amazing variety of subjects. He discusses education, Christianity, relativity, and world affairs. He speaks about love, conscience, fear, motherhood and work. Bishop Sheen offers his timeless insights to give wise, personal and inspiring guidance on the problems affecting our lives in today’s world. For more than 30 years, Archbishop Sheen was the most famous Catholic leader in the United States with a worldwide radio and TV broadcast ministry. When it came to authoritative Church teachings, Catholics and non-Catholics listened to the Bishop because he was someone they could trust to ‘tell it like it is.”

Truth is truth.:thumbsup:

I just received a flyer on this movie last night after the 40 Days for Life victory rally, and it apparently has to do with abortion and forgiveness.

I just watched a clip on this movie on the official website - it doesn’t seem to imply anything about bringing a priest away from the Church - rather, the priest seems to be lacking love; it’s a story how he finds love again (not for a woman, but for each other). It actually looks pretty good!

The website states that it will be in theaters Dec. 7th. I might put this on my “must watch” list.

TBN sells slots to whoever throws money at them. That’s why the shows on the network sometimes contradict each other. There’s absolutely no continuity on that network.


Are you by chance thing of the movie Bella?

That shouldn’t be surprising.:rolleyes:

I am intrigued by this movie, an anti-abortion columinist said she didn’t like it, it wasn’t really a pro-life movie, but didn’t explain why. I think (but time will tell) if a priest isn’t perfect, some people get angry. As long as he isn’t breaking his vows, sleeping with a woman, etc., I would like to see it. I haven’t read a bad review yet, but I’m going to check another site tonight.
One review:
Opening in selected cities nationwide on December 7th, Gener8Xion Entertainment Inc. and Volo Film’s are announcing the release of Noëlle, a heartwarming and inspirational story of how a cold-hearted Catholic priest – haunted by his past – discovers an whole new meaning to his existence in a sleepy, winter-bound New England town at Christmas time.

“Forgiveness, redemption, and second chances are the key themes in this movie,” says Noëlle’s writer and director, David Wall. According to Wall, Noëlle also has a subtle, but powerful, pro-life theme that will leave viewers moved.

“The pro-life message is there,” says Wall. “But a person really needs to see the movie in order to catch how this plays out. Words cannot describe it. You really have to see it to understand how powerful it is.”

As for the movie’s storyline, Father Jonathan Keene, played by Wall, visits a small New England town to shut down a Catholic Church that is deemed unworthy. But when Father Keene arrives, he gets caught up with the town’s colorful mêlée of characters.

Keene offers the small ragtag group one last chance to save their church – they must pull off a successful Christmas play in their community. In the end, though, it is the lovable characters who help Keene find his own personal second chance.

“Surrounded by eccentric and hilarious towns folk that will eventually turn his world upside down, Keene ends up not only questioning his brittle faith, but grappling with it as well,” says Wall.

One such character is Father Simeon Joyce (Sean Patrick Brennan), a priest with a great love for his people, but deemed incompetent by Keene. Joyce shows Keene that being a man of God is having compassion for human weakness.

When Keene meets the town librarian, Marjorie Worthington (Kerry Wall), he begins to be plagued by the sins of his past. Haunting, recurring visions of an angelic, messenger child begin to ripple the still waters of Keene’s Scrooge-like façade.

In the end, Keene comes face to face with his past and his hardened heart. In a breathtaking ending that converges around Keene and the haunting angelic messenger child, Keene discovers forgiveness and second chances.

“There is a real excitement about this movie,” says Wall. “Even people who are not Christians are moved by the clear emphasis on redemption. People are clapping after every show.”

It’s Catholic- bashing. See this link by Curt Jester.


Both priests are super flawed. The priest coming to close the parish is cold and distant, only became a priest because as a young man he had pressured his girl to get an abortion. The other disregards Church law, wants to marry the librarian, and is always at the pub. The visiting priest, Fr. Keene falls for the same woman and in one scene showing his klutziness he rips his vestments and knocks over a filled chalice during midnight mass to run to be with her!!! :mad: He quotes from the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue: ““Throughout the film, confession is trivialized, celibacy is ridiculed, the Virgin Mary is disrespected, nuns are belittled, last rites are mocked, and priestly vocations are caricatured. In short, that which is uniquely Catholic is trashed. However, the plot and the acting are so deliriously absurd that it is impossible for us to get too worked up about this flick.” “It means nothing that the movie has a pro-life message. Stereotypes about Protestant ministers abound, raising the question, Why didn’t Gener8Xion choose to mock one of their own clergy? Similarly, given that the film’s writer, David Hall, has said that his primary interest was in ‘dealing with hypocrisy,’ why didn’t…"

So the only good thing about this movie is that is that it will bomb.

amal95, thanks for the information. That’s why I originally started this thread because, when I saw the chalice spilled and the looks with the woman, something didn’t look quite right. After comments here, I thought maybe I had jumped to the wrong conclusion. Last week I happened upon TBN and saw “pastors” being interviewed after a big screening but no Catholic priests were included…hmm, I thought, if it’s a Catholic setting, why are no Catholic priests being interviewed? One of the new previews had a man picking up the cranky priest in a car and putting down celibacy. And when the TBN guy kept gushing and calling the priest Robert Redford (who the actor has a resemblance to) I thought he didn’t seem too respectful…but he (the TBN guy) and his sidekick wife are a little goofy. They are really playing up the pro-life message, though, but I don’t think this film is in the league of Bella from what I’ve seen.

Someone interviewed the director and he did say, re the chalise, the wine was not consecrated, so he didn’t spill the blood of Christ. That wasn’t obvious to some and he wanted to make it clear.
I suppose, sight unseen, this isn’t the best movie around, but it did get some good reviews from people that seemed unbiased. They gave the good and the bad. I think I will catch it on DVD when I can.

I remember thinking “The Thorn Birds” was great as a teen…(god I’ve matured since then!). .BUT, I think parts of that mini series were great and it did show personalities well. Even the priest, weak as he was, was an honest portrayal of him, wrestling with the power (as many do now) of being a simple priest or wanting more. As Barbara Stanwyck said so icily, “I knew you would pick the red robe” alluding to wanting to be cardinal more than a local priest or husband. I don’t mind an occasional movie/book about a priest/nun that isn’t perfect, my beef is that is ALL you see, there isn’t a balance. Maybe “Bells of St. Mary’s” wasn’t realistic, but you can still have great, believable characters that portray our faith better than they do.

Does anybody know anything of the movie released yesterday Noelle? I have not heard anything about it and I listen to EWTN radio lots!

To all those who have left comments without having even seen the movie, I urge you to see the movie and then leave your comments. It is inappropriate and unreasonable to condemn and denegrate someone or something before even having heard what they say. The movie is briefly summarized below from the producers.

"The Movie “Noëlle” Takes Its Place Among the Classics
The Movie “Noëlle” Takes Its Place Among the Classics
Gener8Xion Entertainment Presents Age-old Christian Message to a Contemporary World.

LOS ANGELES — Gener8Xion Entertainment, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: GNXE * News), a fully integrated family/faith-based entertainment company, recently announced the release of Noëlle. Opening in selected cities nationwide on December 7th, Noëlle is an enchanting, powerful, and entertaining family drama that highlights Christianity’s most important message for today¹s contemporary world. In the process, it rises far above the where, when and how of Christ¹s birth, choosing to focus on the all-important why of the Saviors arrival on earth.

Noëlle is set against the backdrop of a sleepy winter bound New England town. Writer, director, and actor David Wall has masterfully merged drama, comedy, romance, and mystery into his story. Through savvy writing skills, Wall weaves all the elements of this heart warming movie into a single inspirational, all-important twenty-first century theme: everyone deserves a second chance.

With the parishioners drifting away from the church, the minister (Sean Patrick Brennan) is found fraternizing with the townsfolk everywhere but inside the church. When administrator Jonathan Keene (David Wall) arrives to shut down the faltering place of worship, he gets caught up with the town¹s colorful mêlée of characters, but remains set on his task to pull the plug on the waning church.

³Surrounded by eccentric and hilarious characters that will eventually turn his world upside down, Keene ends up not only questioning his brittle faith, but grappling with it as well,² says Wall.

When Keene meets the town librarian Marjorie Worthington (Kerry Wall), he begins to be plagued by the sins of his past. Haunting, recurring visions of an angelic, messenger child begin to ripple the still waters of the Scrooge-like façade that has taken Keene years to develop.

In a highly charged and powerful ending, this film presents the greatest lesson the Bible has to offer in a visually stunning, and heart-rending way that is sure to leave no viewer unmoved. Noëlle is the must see film of this year¹s holiday season.

About Gener8Xion Entertainment

Gener8Xion Entertainment, Inc. (OTC BB:GNXE.OB - News) is an integrated media company engaged in various operating activities including feature film and television production and distribution, sales and rentals of film and video equipment, systems integration and studio facility management. CEO and Chairman of Gener8Xion Entertainment, Inc., Matthew Crouch, first won the acclaim of audiences and critics alike with 1999 runaway hit The Omega Code, named that year¹s top limited release motion picture by Hollywood’s Daily Variety. Warner Brothers called The Omega Code the grandfather of inspirational movies. In 2006, One Night With The King, eclipsed Omega in beauty, drama, and inspiration. Interested investors are invited to visit the following web page to request an investor relations kit, receive GNXE press releases by email immediately upon release, and/or have an investor relations representative contact them directly:

For more information, please visit or

Press Contact:
WDC Media

I saw the previews for this somewhere. It was enough for me. When I was somewhat separated from the Church during college years I normally would not have had problems with this. Things have changed for me and I’m a defender where I can be. I think this type of stuff contributes to the chipping away of the respect we have for our church leaders over time. I took this from imdb and I think the reviewer nailed it. And of course there were some on the board there that applauded it to get a rise of course. But again this one was helpful and contains spoilers:

"Well … the story is partly beautiful. But that brings me to the movie’s ugly side: its anti-Catholicism. I won’t say anything more about the other ethical problem with this movie, its marketing as a traditional Christmas story when it clearly isn’t. The misleading marketing isn’t really part of the movie as such after all.

But about the anti-Catholicism so prominent in the movie. The story could well have been told with a much less denominational context, but the movie singles out one particular religion for representations that could have come out of any number of anti-Catholic tracts known for their bigotry. The director/writer/producer, David Wall, is reported to be prejudiced against Catholics. This certainly comes through in his movie, in which he depicts Catholicism from a point of view that could be termed liberal, post-Christian, and anti-Catholic.

The Catholic archdiocese is painted as greedy and interested solely in money … a superfluous characterization that apparently has nothing to do with the story. We are treated to a Catholic priest who is an alcoholic who asserts no interest in priestly abstinence from sex. The same priest disdains Midnight Mass, a distinctively Catholic religious service of special affection to most Catholics. The priest is depicted along with a congregation that has lost interest in a Midnight Mass either. The other Catholic priest walks out, twice, on a Mass, a religious service considered important to Catholics in general. He also walks out on a poor woman’s Confession; and breaks the Seal of the Confessional, betraying to others what he has heard in confidence in the Confessional. And by the end of the movie our priest has formed a romantic attachment and we are given to understand that he’s become a nice, normal married man that has left that nasty old Catholicism behind.

As one feature of Catholicism after another is trampled underfoot, the movie apparently expects us all to applaud. If you’re wondering what this has to do with the wonderfully humane storyline as such, I wonder as well.

One of the dilemmas of a moviegoer confronted with what is actually plain bigotry, mixed with so much beauty and so much humanity, is to know how to respond. I don’t know the answer. I’m guessing that the same dilemma would have confronted a moviegoer in South Africa a few decades ago, who might have been watching a movie full of good things yet jarringly pro-Apartheid. Or perhaps a moviegoer in Nazi Germany might have found himself or herself watching a movie full of much beauty and humanity on the one hand, while coupled painfully with implicit or explicit celebrations of Nazism.

Can one applaud the beauty and humanism in such a movie while denouncing the ugly prejudice that’s also there? I’m not sure … but I hope so. Each of us I’m sure must make our own decisions about how to approach such material, if we approach it at all."

I’m not as intrigued anymore, at least I wont spend $ on it. Maybe a free rental one day. It would be nice to have a realistic movie with a Catholic priest without grave problems, but that is not what sells today.
Actually I watched parts of The Thorn Birds yesterday and although it had a flawed priest and some scenes they didn’t have to exploit, it was a more honest look at a struggling priest than some of the garbage on TV and movies now. At the time, it was scandalous, and the sexual scenes still would be, but it was very honest. The priest knew what he was, was very honest about his struggles and ambition as many men are and if shown today, probably would be a “yawn” compared to the filth out there now. Even on Law and Order type shows, the priest is always molesting someone or “a bad guy”. As someone said on TV recently, “If all we had to worry about was a priest fighting an attraction to a woman” we’d all be happy.

IMHO, this movie isn’t that bad, in fact, it’s quite good.

I learned that one cannot be a priest for the wrong reason. One of the priests become a priest because he feel guilty. For him, becoming a priest was a punishment/penance, but the other priest reminds him priesthood is a privilege.

If you understand the movie, it’s a beautiful movie. I just hope you will watch it before you make any opinion.

Here is an interview by Catholic Digest

I just watched the movie and didn’t like it. The Catholic League did a great write up about it where they said everything that I would say and more. Noelle is a movie that goes against just about everything that we, as Catholics, believe. I urge people not to see it.

Father Michael Manning (Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice Cross from Pope Benedict XVI) also has a TBN program.

Why isn’t the Catholic community taking advantage, and providing programing with the “fullness of the faith”?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit