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It is a movie that deals with Catholic themes without relying on tired tropes or stereotypes.

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The school is staffed by laypeople, just like those who ran the schools I attended. There are no mean old nuns—or really any religious represented at all—manipulating Damian into feeling guilt, or guiding him on his little path to sainthood. The only men and women religious in the film are the saints that appear to Damian. The martyrs of Uganda tell him about how access to clean drinking water can improve the lives of people living in rural poverty.

The apparitions of these historical figures are wonderful, but they seem unrelated to what the Sister Regina Meehan test is about. In excluding contemporary men and women religious from the film, the movie props up lay leadership in a way that feels true to my own experience in the church. I think Sister Regina would be proud to give it a pass. The film is a period drama set at a Catholic elementary school in the Bronx in The heightened tension drives the narrative, all underscored by a sense of doubt.

I Was a Teenage Convert

The story is a parable without a singular prescribed meaning. There are a handful of issues with the production of the film here and there, some that can be particularly irksome to the trained Catholic eye a few anachronistic vestments and hymns. Note to costume designers everywhere: bring your clerical consultant in before shooting begins.

James Martin, S.

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Sister Regina Meehan Test: The writing and acting are of the highest quality, making the watching experience riveting. Father Brendan Flynn: You have no right to act on your own! You have taken vows, obedience being one! You answer to us! You have no right to step outside the church!

Sister Aloysius Beauvier: I will step outside the church if that's what needs to be done, 'til the door should shut behind me! I will do what needs to be done, though I'm damned to Hell!

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You should understand that, or you will mistake me. The odd couple storyline is familiar and unsurprising, but Melfie uses it as a vehicle to tell a heartwarming, enjoyable, funny story. He innovates elsewhere, challenging the way Catholic education is represented on the big screen. In a post-Vatican II, post-sex-abuse-scandal church, what do our schools look like?

On his first day at his new school, a warm, compassionate, young cleric asks Oliver to lead the class in morning prayer. Catholic schools in the 21st century, especially those in urban areas, are diverse. They celebrate religious pluralism. Although rooted in one specific tradition, they welcome all.

For their sacrifices. Towards the end of the film, Oliver gives an emotional, heart-stirring speech where he canonizes his babysitter: Saint Vincent of Sheepshead Bay. Keep a pack of tissues nearby. Sister Regina Meehan Test: Brother Geraghty is frankly one of my all time favorite representations of religious life on screen. He is sweet and tender with the children and their parents, genuinely a good guy. Although both are dedicated to saving St. A week later I went again, that time with my mother and sisters, while home for Thanksgiving break.

I even own a printed hard copy of the screenplay, highlighted with my annotations in a binder. Or at least Connecticut or New Hampshire. Where writers live in the woods. Captured viscerally, the story almost begins to feel like memory.

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For those of us who had the privilege of attending Catholic schools, it's almost weird and eerie how the memories feel so much like they could be our own. Another jockish priest coaches football, but is happy to jump in when they need a new director for the play, running routes for the dancers on a chalkboard.


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This mysterious concept of grace animates the film, rendering it endlessly rewatchable. For me this simple, humbling, somewhat morbid line, is the root of my faith. It is the greatest Catholic School movie of all time. I totally agree! Heaven Help Us is a great movie, really funny! The only reason I came to the comment section is to see if anyone mentioned it. The movie is hilarious and had more of a feel of pre-Vatican II Catholic schools, which is when I attended Catholic schools.

Is it because it had some sexual issues? The movie is too, too funny. I first saw it in a course on Jewish movies, but it is more Catholic than Jewish. Nazis, little children, nuns, and priests in a boarding school in France provide a powerful combination.

Made in France.


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Sadly, the only one of these ten films that is listed for Netflix is "Doubt" but it's not available on Netflix in Canada. Similarly, other top Catholic films are absent from Netflix. It seems as if they have a policy against Catholic films. You missed "Boys Town" and "Blues Brother"..

My high school buds still shudder at the mention of my great-aunt Ursuline who was the Principal of St. Ann's in Cleveland Heights. I saw The Trouble With Angels at just the right time in my life, as a young girl.

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And Lady Bird is simply a masterpiece. The nuns in these films were depicted as fully human and deeply caring. I also loved Doubt, St Vincent and many of the others. As a ND grad with two children and a husband also ND grads I must protest the dissing of Rudy, a fun albeit manipulative sap of a movie. Perhaps you excluded foreign films by design. Nevertheless I would highly recommend Les Innocents. My bad, I failed to note that the story pertains only to school Catholic movies when I recommended Les Innocents. Nevertheless, based upon the story I watched St.

The movie had a worthwhile and moving ending, however it took awhile to get there. Also, the message in the movie that we are all called to be holy people is much appreciated. Ciaran Freeman August 30, Show Comments Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more. Maria Alderson. These aren't about Catholic schools.

Saint Ralph is amazing! Heaven Help Us.

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Most popular. Pope Francis at Nagasaki and Hiroshima makes impassioned plea for peace and nuclear disarmament. The listing you're looking for has ended. View original item. Sell one like this. About this product Product Information This work is a three-part memoir, looking back at religious indoctrination, first at the author's schooldays of the s and s, then his journey to India, looking for something different, but finding something similar.

In the third phase, the adult man asks how much this still influences him, despite his efforts to rid himself of the hidden influence of religious indoctrination. Malachi O'Doherty is prompted to look back on his religious life one night when, working as a journalist in Belfast, he finds himself in the porch of the church at Harryville, recording sounds of picketers screaming, to drown out the sounds of the hymn inside.