The Vatican has a film library. Who knew?
Frank Weathers, who blogs at Why I Am Catholic, has latched onto an opportunity for all of us to support the new evangelization. He has been raising money to help produce a Christian film, All that Remains.
Here is an excerpt of Frank’s latest post about this film:
Since the end of August, in the year of Our Lord 2011, I’ve been bringing word of, and requesting alms for, the making of the film about the life of Takashi Nagai.
Generous donations from readers of this space helped fly Ian & Dominic Higgins, and their crew, back and forth across the globe in order to bring this mans’ story to an audience that quite possibly has never heard of him. Readers like you have enabled Major Oak Studios to work tirelessly, and painstakingly, on rebuilding the time and the events that changed the life of this one man, and thousands like him, on another August day in the seaside town of Nagasaki, Japan.
It’s a Catholic story, surprisingly, through and through, and the artful work is nearing completion. My friends Ian and Dominic send the following note,
We cannot express out gratitude and appreciation enough to everyone who has been part of the All That Remains process. The film is now near its final production stage and we thank everyone who has contributed to our previous campaigns.
We need to raise $8,000 to cover final production costs. This money will go towards the costs needed for filming the final few scenes of “All That Remains.”
Every penny helps as no money is wasted and even the smallest contributions are significant.
Major Oak Entertainment have been very privileged to be able to work with such a passionate cast and crew and to have had the invaluable support of so many contributors. Everyone’s enthusiasm and support is what has made it possible for us to get this far.
Your contribution will help us bring the story of a truly remarkable man, whose legacy is an incredible testament to the power of faith, to a worldwide audience, where it belongs. (To read the rest and see a clip from the film, go here.)
The old-fashioned habit that was worn by women religious for several hundred years is a romantic garb.
It is, in its own way, more high fashion than anything coming out of Paris, Italy or New York today. It harkens back to the days when Europe was going through a prolonged cold streak, when buildings where the common folk lived went mostly unheated.The habit began as the fashion of the day and, as time moved onward and the fashions of the days changed, it became an icon of religious identity for the women who wore it and those who saw them.
The habit meant something rather grand, speaking as it did of the mysteries of the sealed-off world of the convent and lives lived according to vows of lifetime commitment to Christ and His Church. The habit, when worn by Ingrid Bergman or Audrey Hepburn, was not only living religious icon, and high fashion; it was high Hollywood, as well.
No wonder the laity longs to see its return and many young girls like to wear it. But given that it is bound to be a rather uncomfortable and hot dress for today’s climate and an altogether unwieldy one for much of today’s work, no wonder so many other nuns were only too happy to shed it.
Fifty years on in this experiment of habit-less nuns and sisters, the question remains: To inhabit the habit, or not? Should nuns and sisters wear this garb as it always has been, or should they wear a modified version of it, or, should they abandon it altogether?
I am not a nun or a sister. I don’t, as we say here in Oklahoma, have a dog in this fight.
What I want from sisters and nuns is the same thing I want from priests: Authenticity of purpose and fidelity to Jesus.
I do think that it serves an important purpose for God’s vowed ones to be identifiable in public. Priests wear the collar. But they don’t wear it on the basketball court or the swimming pool. They take it off to go out for dinner with their friends and family.
From what I’ve seen, sisters and nuns try to wear their habits at all times, even when they are engaged in physical enterprises which make it clumsy or even dangerous. I think that is kind of extreme.
Maybe the question should be more along the lines of what should nuns who are active in the world wear for a habit, rather than if they should dress like civilians. As I said, this isn’t my fight. The only reason I’m writing about it is because I see a crying need for sisters who will engage in ministries such as human trafficking, prostitution, and other crimes of violence against women.
The truth is, many of the women who escape from these things are unable to relate to any man in a healthy way, and that includes priests. They are deeply wounded, maimed even, on a spiritual and emotional level. They need people of God to work with them, and it would be very helpful if at least some of these people had the authority of religious vows.
It can’t be men; not in the early stages. It has to be women. That, to me, means sisters. The reason I bring up the habit is that I can see that a full-bore, head-to-toe habit might be a barrier between a sister and the people they are ministering to. Victims of this kind of terrible violence have enough survival barriers they’ve created inside themselves without adding more with something like the clothing you wear.
To me — and I’m going to say for the third time that I’m out of my depth here — but to me the question about whether or not to wear a habit should revolve around what purpose it serves. I think women religious should wear something that is uniform to their calling and that distinguishes them from the laity. But I also think that transporting middle ages fashion to the 21st century may not always be the best way to go.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to wear this type of habit. It’s fine. But for certain kinds of ministry, it would interfere with the sister’s ability to minister. On the other hand, dressing like just anybody who walked in off the street would hamper that ministry, as well.
I mentioned the collar and black and white clothes that priests wear because I think they are a good solution. It is a distinctive and uniform look that anyone who sees it recognizes as clerical garb. At the same time, it does not inhibit a priest’s ability to walk, run, sit or drive a car. Priests even wear short-sleeved shirts in summer, which seems kinder than wearing a full habit to me.
Priests also take their clericals off when they want to play golf or go jogging. They even take them off for private social occasions.
Why can’t sisters and nuns exercise the same common sense in their clothing?
I’ve read that the orders which use the full habit are growing while those that don’t wear a habit are declining. I don’t know if that has to do with the habit or with the spiritual practices and mission of these orders or what. I would like to think that young women are joining religious orders for much more important reasons that what habit they wear.
As I said, my interest in this comes from what I see as a crying need to have women religious in certain ministries. The lack of women religious to help in the fight against violence against women is a sadness to me. I know that they could make a profound difference for the good, but there are not women religious to do this work, at least none that I know of.
This is a rambling post that goes off in several directions and doesn’t come around to any conclusion. That’s because I’m thinking this through as I type.
What do you think about all this?
Also, do you know of an order of sisters who might be interested in the kind of work I’m talking about?
The Church needs nuns and sisters. It has to have them to do the work of evangelization that it has set for itself.
This is a Eucharistic flash mob. I wonder what the response to this would be in one of our malls; or on the Mall in Washington DC, or any number of public places.
Here in Oklahoma, we have so few Catholics, it might just lead to confused stares and dome scratching from all the Southern Baptists.
I watched it this evening on a tiny insert on my laptop. I got misty-eyed then. Now, I can’t stop smiling.
What a beautiful, humble man to ask for our prayers. God bless him.
Here, if you haven’t seen it, or just want to see it again, is the first part of the Holy Father’s first message as pope.
Click here throughout the Year of Faith, as the Catholic Channel at Patheos.com invites Catholics of every age and stripe to share what they are gleaning and carrying away from this gift of timely focus.