By Tonia Borsellino
What do you get when you show an auditorium full of seminarians and a few young women a film on the call to the Sisterhood? A crowd of men wishing they could also enter the convent.
That’s what happened at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Fla. on May 5.
Two Sisters representing the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious journeyed to South Florida for a pre-screening of their film For Love Alone, an 18-minute documentary produced by Grassroots Films. Mother Mary Clare of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Sister Clare Mattias of the Community of Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal were at the seminary to hear firsthand what viewers thought of their film.
The film, modeled after the documentary Fishers of Men on the call to holy orders and the vocation of priesthood, depicted the beauty of the Sisterhood.
As the documentary began, women religious of various orders and congregations told their stories of how they were called to religious life.
These women with their whole lives figured out, with dreams of getting married or continuing on with their careers, began to question, “Is God really calling me to be a Sister?”
Amidst all the questions, they chose to follow the call.
The film transitioned between comments from the various Sisters on their vocation, their families, and the people they serve.
Filled with humor, heart-wrenching moments, and historical evidence of the impact Sisters make in the lives of those they interact with, this film left the room in awe.
After the film ended, Mother Mary Clare and Sister Clare asked for comments from the audience and I couldn’t help but mention how honest the film was. You could tell the Sisters in the film were speaking from a place of truth – it just pierces your heart.
Anyone watching this film can’t help being captivated by the beauty of religious life. There aren’t difficult theological terms or concepts discussed; just love and how love can transform someone’s life.
As I looked down at my hands folded, I realized the Sisters coming together in the film to show the world what their religious vocation is like, reflected the hands of God.
Each Sister is spread out to serve the world in a way that only their order can, but the same mission binds them all to each other. Just like how each finger has a purpose but comes together to complete an action.
For all the women who watch the film, there’s the afterthought: “What will you do with your hands?”
This well made film touched the hearts of all ages in the room and created a beautiful discussion afterwards. The mutual respect was captivating in a society where women and men are sometimes at odds.
Set to release on August 15 this year, For Love Alone will send chills up your spine and leave you wanting to give your life to God too.
For more information on the film visit: http://cmswr.org
Prayer to Know One’s Vocation
Lord, my God and my loving Father, you have made me to know you, to love you, to serve you, and thereby to find and to fulfill my deepest longings. I know that you are in all things, and that every path can lead me to you.
But of them all, there is one especially by which you want me to come to you. Since I will do what you want of me, I pray you, send your Holy Spirit to me: into my mind, to show me what you want of me; into my heart, to give me the determination to do it, and to do it with all my love, with all my mind, and with all of my strength right to the end. Jesus, I trust in you. Amen.
— United States Conference of Catholic Bishops