Saintly movie making

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Monday 30, July 2007 | Category:   Consecrated Life

The San Damiano Foundation produces films highlighting the spirituality of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi and the Franciscan concerns for social justice, peace, and nonviolence. Under the guidance of author, photographer, and filmmaker Gerard T. Straub, who is a Secular Franciscan, and his staff, the foundation produces fundraising films for Christian charities which aid the world’s poor. It also screens films at churches, high schools, and universities across the United States.

The foundation gets its name from the church outside Assisi, Italy where in the year 1205 Saint Francis, not long after his decision to commit himself to God, went to pray and seek guidance about whether he should lead a life of solitude and contemplation or service to the poor and spreading the gospel. While praying in San Damiano, which was deteriorating, he heard the voice of Christ say, “Francis, go repair my house which, as you see, is falling completely to ruin."

He understood this command literally, and so he begged supplies and rebuilt the church a brick at a time. After completing the restoration a year later, it then dawned on Francis that Jesus also meant the whole church, and so Francis set upon the tasking of rebuilding and renewing the universal church, as well as himself.

San Damiano Foundation's productions include films on poverty—both material and spiritual—soup kitchens, migrants, contemplation, and people heroically making a difference by working among the poor and the sick.

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