Documentary available for viewing during special year

March 22, 2015 by

Throughout the world, religious congregations are remembering and celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life.

One way to participate is viewing an award-winning documentary that grew out of the research of two Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

“Interrupted Lives: Catholic Sisters Under European Communism” debuted in 2009. Sister Margaret Nacke and Sister Mary Savoie first traveled to Eastern Europe after the fall of communism to help re-establish religious communities.
They soon began researching how the communist regimes had persecuted women religious and began documenting first-hand accounts from those who had survived.

The documentary was written and produced by Judy Zielinski, a Sister of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio, based on that research.

The documentary has aired on national television and received a Gabriel award for excellence in film.

Sister Margaret said an inquiry about the film made the two of them realize its importance during this Year of Consecrated Lives.

“It was not until a Dominican priest called from Baltimore asking about the documentary and said that he wanted to use it in his parish for this year that I realized this may be a good documentary for our diocese,” she said.

The one-hour documentary explores the experiences of sisters through interviews with survivors, coupled with dramatic re-creations with actors filmed on location in Ukraine, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary.

Many of these sisters endured imprisonment, forced farm and factory labor, deportation, exile to Siberia, expulsion from their convents and seizure of their schools and hospitals.

Sister Margaret said the film “is a powerful testimony to the faith, courage and endurance of these woman and all those who today undergo persecution for their religious beliefs.”

Parish groups that would like to view this documentary can contact Sister Margaret or Sister Mary at 785/527-2516 or write them at 602 20th St., Belleville KS 66935.

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