Getting in Gear: It's an A.D., A.D., A.D., A.D. world!

Introducing a new series -- "Getting in Gear" -- devoted to the Catholic trinkets, gewgaws and knickknacks we all must have! The "gear" that is, that is to the pious Catholic what a hardware store is the handy man.

A few years ago, when we were in the religious ed biz, we loved to use movies as visual aids. Films like "Jesus of Nazareth" and "Romero:" were terrific ways to get kids to get more out of the lesson that just read or listening to us talk.

But there was one film that I tried in vain to find, "A.D.," which told the intertwines stories of early Christianity and the Roman Empire. It was a sensible move. The Church of the Apostles was established and flourished in the Roman world. Emperors like Nero and Tiberius had direct effects on the movement. "A.D." as also one of the few decent film depictions of important Christian stories out of the books of Acts: Pentecost; Paul's conversion; the stoning of Stephen; Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch; the martyrdom of Peter and Paul. As religious educators, "A.D." could provide visuals for some of the most important, but least filmed aspects of our history.

But the only copy of "A.D." I could find was the one I had taped years before when it played on television. The quality as just so-so, and all the commercials!!! But try as I might, I could not locate a newer copy. Not on Amazon; not in the Christian bookstores; not even Blockbuster or the local library carried it. And then I misplaced my copy!

So I was thrilled when I opened the Leaflet Missal, my main source for religious gear, and noticed that "A.D." was on the market. And in DVD format. Hallelujah! Even though we're not teaching at the moment, it would be great to have this rare gem in my collection.

But wait.

The price for the DVD was an astounding $49.95!!! And the Gold Collector Version (the original full, uncut version --without a study guide!) was an even more astounding $79.95!!!

Ho...lee…bananas! What a budget buster!

So it looks as though I won't be buying "A.D." anytime soon. Too bad, because it really has some neat performances. Maybe someone on Amazon will sell an unwanted copy cheap?