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Prayer with Surprising Results in ’40 Hours’


HOLLYWOOD, Calif.–Sometimes all we can do is pray! In “40 Hours,” Family Theater Productions’ newest faith-based family film, the characters find out how important prayer is when they face difficult circumstances in their lives.

“40 Hours” follows the continuing story of Cristina, a 16-year-old high school student who was first featured in “Family Dinner,” released by Family Theater Productions last year. In the most recent film, she must volunteer for 40 hours at a charitable organization for one of her classes.

Cristina hopes to just put in her time but becomes close to people she would normally never meet. She quickly makes friends with other volunteers and homeless guests, especially, Kat, a girl about her age. When Kat starts relapsing into old and dangerous habits, Cristina tries to help her. Kat resists and Cristina soon learns that sometimes the only thing you can do is to pray – and then let God do the rest.

"This story helps all of us remember prayer is important in any situation, but particularly in situations where we need hope," said Father David Guffey, C.S.C., the writer and directors of "40 Hours."

"Prayer helps us have hope in the ways God's grace works so that we can see the resurrection moments in our lives every day."

This powerful drama relates to scripture and the First Glorious Mystery of the Rosary, The Resurrection, and is inspired by Father Guffey's experiences at a previous assignment as a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

“40 Hours” stars Paulina Cerrilla, who played Cristina in “Family Dinner.” She was a contestant on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2012 and was cast in the short film “String Theory.” Cerrilla is also a Covergirl makeup model for the Hispanic market. As a singer, her music videos have been seen by tens of millions of viewers.

It also features veteran actors Sharon Munfus as Rose, coordinator of the soup kitchen; Julian Curi, who reprises his role as Carlos, Cristina’s brother; Michael Harvey as Father Bill, priest at the soup kitchen; Josh Thrower as George, a longtime volunteer; and Franklin R. Ruehl as Pops, a frequent guest at the homeless center; along with newcomer Leksi Bell, who portrays Kat, a volunteer with a dark past.

“40 Hours” was written and directed by Father David Guffey, C.S.C., National Director of Family Theater Productions in Hollywood, and is inspired by many events and many guests at the André House, a soup kitchen and homeless center in Phoenix.

“The drama is based on various experiences that occurred when I managed André House,” he said. “These powerful moments continually showed us the power of prayer and God’s love. I knew my experiences would make a great story someday.”

The film is ideal for families looking to deepen their faith while exploring the spiritual side of topical issues and how they relate to the life of Christ. It is part of a DVD series for teens and families and can be used in faith formation programs.

“40 Hours” is produced in English, dubbed in Spanish, and subtitled in French and Portuguese on one DVD and includes a multi-lingual study guide. It sells for $12.95, plus shipping and tax. It can be ordered online at or by calling 508-238-4095.

Family Theater Productions, which celebrates its 68thanniversary, is a member ministry Holy Cross Family Ministries. The production company was founded by Servant of God Patrick Peyton in 1947. A candidate for sainthood, Father Peyton was one of the most influential American Catholic priests of the 20th century. Known as the “Rosary Priest,” he encouraged millions of people to pray the Rosary daily.

In the spirit of its founder, Servant of God Patrick Peyton, Holy Cross Family Ministries helps families pray together, especially the Rosary. For more information, visit or

MORE ABOUT “40 Hours”
Soup Kitchen Experiences Inspire New Family Drama
from Family Theater Productions of Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.–Family Theater Productions’ newest family drama evokes real feelings of compassion and concern. That may be because “40 Hours” is inspired by the writer's experiences while he worked at a soup kitchen.

Father David Guffey, C.S.C., National Director of Family Theater Productions, wrote and directed the short family film-based film on his experiences at André House, a soup kitchen and homeless center in Phoenix. “40 Hours” relates to scripture of the First Glorious Mystery of the Rosary, The Resurrection.

“This story comes from my experiences when I was Director of André House,” Father Guffey said. “There were several emotional events that demonstrated the power of faith and prayer, inspiring me to write about them as a family drama.”

The real experiences that inspired the short film occurred at André House, a ministry to the homeless and poor populations of the Phoenix area. The soup kitchen and homeless center serve hundreds of people in need every day. André House was founded by two Holy Cross Priests in 1984 and is dedicated to serving Jesus through others.

The Arizona ministry is named for Saint André Bessette, who was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. André was a brother of the Congregation of Holy Cross who became known as the “Miracle Man of Montreal” because of the hundreds of people who credited their healing to him.

“André House is a ministry of love,” Father Guffey said. “All visitors are treated with respect and are considered guests. More than 10,000 people volunteer each year to help us meet the needs of the marginalized and less fortunate citizens in the Phoenix area. We do this to serve Jesus. As Christ said, ‘Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’”

For more information about André House, go to For more information about “40 Hours” and Family Theater Productions, go to