Sunday, January 29, 2012

Coming Soon: The Passion of Bernadette

Cinema Catechism will be presenting The Passion of Bernadette this Thursday, February 2, 2012, together with catechesis and discussion on the theme of the Beatitudes. (NOTE: There is a time change to 7:30 p.m. The showing had originally been scheduled for 7 p.m., but the notices in the church bulletin and the pulpit announcement said 7:30 -- ergo, we will be showing the feature film at 7:30, and find something else to show or do for those who come at 7 p.m.)

Bernadette Soubirous lived in a time of ideological hostility to religion, including the constricted scientism of intellectual elites, who rejected religious faith as superstition and believed instead that "seeing is believing," that if something could not be subjected to measurement and testing, it did not exist. Bernadette, though, was no intellectual elite. Rather, for her, believing was seeing. Because of her faith, her simple modest faith of the heart, an innocent and humble love for the Lord, the lowly Bernadette was able to see what others could not: she who is our life, our sweetness, and our hope.

Surely, one could say that the words of the Sermon on the Mount rightly apply to Bernadette, Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are meek, blessed are the merciful, blessed are the pure of heart, blessed are those persecuted for holiness' sake." (Mt. 5:8)

These qualities shine through in this touching film. Ignatius Press says of The Passion of Bernadette:
Following up the acclaimed best-selling movie, Bernadette, the story of the apparitions of Our Lady in Lourdes to Bernadette Soubirous, this beautiful Jean Delannoy film tells the rest of the story of her life after the Marian visions- the life that made Bernadette a saint. The grotto at Lourdes is flourishing with many pilgrims, and Bernadette leaves to enter the convent of the sisters of Nevers to dedicate her life to God. Under the harsh rule of the Novice Mistress who "doesn't believe in apparitions", Bernadette, now Sister Marie Bernard, begins her life of achieving sanctity through prayer, faith, suffering, and deep charity toward all. With another moving performance by actress Sydney Penny, this film reveals incessant illness and suffering that St. Bernadette patiently, even cheerfully endured throughout her life in the convent, often repeating her prayer to "suffer and offer it to God." She went to her eternal reward in 1879, at the age of 35. When her body was exhumed many years later, it was found to be incorrupt. Today she lays in rest in a glass case in the chapel of the Sisters of Nevers, where millions have come to see "the little saint of Lourdes."

Sunday, January 22, 2012


un film de Christian Salès