Cinema, the Vows, Mission, Communion, Spirituality – using film to contemplate Religious Life

As we approach Vocation Awareness week, January 13-19,  Sr.  Rose Pacatte, respected Catholic film critic writes, “Over the last year or so I prepared these lists for the  Religious Formation Conference  at the request of  Yvonne DeBruin, the very talented program director for the RFC.

God bigger than elvis

You can find information about these films at the Internet Movie Database. Most of these films are available on DVD or streaming from Amazon.  You can purchase very good used copies of the DVDs from Amazon or eBay. (If they are defective in any way returns and credit are assured if you follow the protocol.)

I recommend seeing the film before you show it to any group. As the facilitator you will want to be comfortable with the film, perhaps create some questions to facilitate the conversation, and prepare for different ways the conversation might go. Some of the movies present difficult scenarios. Please note, however, that the films are listed here because to me they “speak” to the topic and present a table around which we, as religious, can gather to talk about things that matter.

What is important is the context of the story and what it means rather than content analysis; looking for story and symbolic themes rather than messages. What is the movie about? Using a narrative film or a documentary provides a pedagogically sound way to create a safe space, aside from one’s everyday and personal reality, to talk about ideas, themes, and issues that otherwise might be challenging to consider or to talk about directly. Unexpected issues may also arise.

Though everyone may be looking at the same thing each one will experience it, and make meaning from it, in very different ways. This is because each person’s life experience, education, and moral, social, and faith development, are different. A list of films dealing with prayer will be coming. You will note that many of these already deal with community, spirituality, and prayer.

For the compilation visit her post Cinema, the Vows, Mission, Communion, Spirituality – using film to contemplate Religious Life


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