Sister Reflects on ‘Band of Sisters’ Documentary
By Sister M. Gratia L.
At a recent screening in Rochester, NY, audiences enthusiastically welcomed “Band of Sisters,” the film that tells the stories of women religious engaged in social justice, with a special emphasis on the advocacy efforts of Sisters of Mercy JoAnn Persch and Pat Murphy on behalf of immigrants being held in a detention facility in Chicago.
During the film audience members even broke into applause at various points. A Sister of Saint Joseph and I conducted a question-and-answer session after the documentary. Audience members asked great questions including how we got started in justice work, and what we thought about Pope Francis.
It was great to see marvelous leaders like Sisters Carol Coston, Theresa Kane, Marge Tuite and many others in this film. I thank filmmaker and Mercy Associate Mary Fishman for her perseverance and expertise in putting together such a wonderful illustration of the past, present and future of women religious in the United States. She captured very well the involvement and motivation of the sisters featured in the film. When Sisters JoAnn and Pat along with other ministers were being denied entry into the detention center, I loved the remark: “We don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.” The film shows how they finally did eventually succeed in bringing ministerial presence into the detention center.
While I was at this screening, two people came up to me saying that they had taken a seminar I had led at a ministry where I had worked for 24 years helping older adults navigate through complex issues involving finance, legal assistance and health care. What a treat to have these individuals unexpectedly come up to me at this screening to tell me how much they appreciated the guidance and support I had provided a number of years ago!
‘Band of Sisters’ next moves to Pittsburgh, May 31-June 6. More information is available here.