Religious life captured on film

By the VISION editors

Few people outside of religious communities see what life is like inside, compelling documentary filmmakers to explore this rich subject. Here are some must-sees.

Image from the documentary film Bro: Men with Hope to Bring

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Image: The documentary film Bro: Men with Hope to Bring looks at what makes the vocation of brothers distinct and explores the lives of brothers in the United States and abroad.


Need something new in your movie queue? From the comfort of your couch, learn about sisters and social justice, life in a cloister, the unique vocation of priests, what makes brothers distinct, the ups and downs of discernment, and the meaning of religious life.

SISTERS

Band of Sisters  Explores Catholic sisters and their work for social justice following the changes promulgated by the Second Vatican Council, a gathering of church leaders in the 1960s. Directed and produced by independent filmmaker Mary Fishman. 88 minutes, 2012. bandofsistersmovie.com.

For Love Alone  Examines contemporary women who have joined religious orders, addressing the questions: Who is responding to the call and what contribution do their lives make? Produced by Grassroots Films for the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious. 17 minutes, 2015. cmswr.org.

Radical Grace  Follows the story of three Catholic sisters staunchly dedicated to social justice. Created by writer and director Rebecca Parish, The Kindling Group, and Interchange Productions. 86 minutes, 2015. radicalgracefilm.com.

Sisters of Selma DVD
Caption Here

Sisters  Takes viewers into the lives of five American Catholic sisters, exploring faith, sacrifice, and the meaning of religious life. Produced by filmmaker Robert Gardner. 54 minutes. vimeo.com/71751194.

Sisters of Selma: Bearing Witness for Change  Traces the involvement of Catholic sisters in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Produced by Hart Films and Alabama Public TV. 57 minutes, 2007. home.earthlink.net/~sistersofselma.

No Greater Love: A Unique Portrait of the Carmelite Nuns  An intimate look at a year in the life of a cloistered Carmelite monastery in London. Produced by filmmaker Michael Whyte. 100 minutes, 2011.

No Greater Love DVD

Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America  Shows the role U.S. sisters have played and the impact they have made in shaping the nation socially, culturally, and spiritually. The film was part of a touring exhibit created by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious that traveled to museums throughout the United States. 60 minutes, 2011. lcwr.org/item/women-spirit-dvd.

PRIESTS

Fishers of Men  Depicts various facets of a priest’s life and explores the purpose of a priest’s vocation. Produced by Grassroots Films for the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops. 18 minutes, 2006. vimeo.com/2845985.

Diocesan priesthood videos  Several documentary-style videos about priesthood, many of them professionally produced, are available at a website hosted by the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors. diocesanpriest.com/videos.

BROTHERS

Bro: Men with Hope to Bring  Looks at what makes the vocation of brothers distinct, exploring the lives of brothers in the United States and abroad. Directed, written, and edited by Holy Cross Brother Nich Perez, C.S.C., a teacher and filmmaker. 118 minutes, 2013. Brofilmhope.com.

Into Great Silence DVD

Into Great Silence  A meditative look at life in the Carthusian monastery of the Grande Chartreuse in the French Alps, one of the world’s most ascetic religious orders. Directed by Philip Groning. 162 minutes, 2005. (Monks of the Carthusian order, as with many other men’s communities, include both priests and brothers.)

DISCERNMENT

The Calling DVD

The Calling  Looks at the joys and anxieties of a middle-aged woman and a young man, each of whom is discerning a vocation to religious life. Produced by independent filmmaker David Ranghelli. 77 minutes, 2013. thecallingdocumentary.com. 

Related articles: vocationnetwork.org, “Parent Resource: Family movie night,” Vision 2013.

2017 © TrueQuest Communications

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