BY Nicola Paerg
The Sacred Heart Catholic Studies Film Series showed the movie “Calvary” starring
Brendan Gleeson on Feb. 26 in the Schine Auditorium.
This film portrays the life of a priest (Gleeson) in Ireland who is threatened to death while in the confessional with a parishioner.
“What I liked about the film is the priest’s reaction to the man’s confession,” said graduate student Ghadeer Munshi. “He did not call the police or try to harm the man, but he tried as as hard as he could to discover the reason for these threats in order to help the troubled man change his mind.”
Catholic Intellectual Traditions (CIT) Professor Dr. June-Ann Greeley is actively involved with the Catholic Studies department. She suggested the film for screening and moderated the event.
“The film ‘Calvary,’ is a film that was shot in Ireland and tries to explore the abuse crisis that is engulfing the Catholic Church today,” said Greeley. “It is telling a story that includes the townspeople who have had an abject loss of faith, an angry rejection of the Church, and the good priest in their midst becomes the price for the sins of others.”
There were a total of seven students that attended and two students stayed through the duration of the film to support the series program.
“My wife and I are Muslim people who really enjoy learning about other religions,” said said junior Ahmed Ashi. “A lot of our friends here in the USA embrace the Catholic religion, so it is a good thing to learn about and understand.”
Many CIT professors allowed this film to count as a colloquium that the students could view then write a response to receive credit.
“I am taking the Human Journey CIT course and attending this movie counted as one of our colloquia requirements,” said Munshi. “When we heard that the movie is going to be about a priest, we expected to see a story of justice, religious affairs, and humanity.”
The department shows films periodically throughout each semester to give students another perspective to connect with the core topics of the CIT course.
“The Catholic Studies Dept. shows films because very often, films offer creative and imaginative expositions of the CIT,” said Greeley. “Film is another platform for expressing and reflecting on key issues, ideas and concerns of the CIT.”
Students that attended did so to fulfill their colloquia requirement.
“What I did not like about the film is that they tarnish the reputation of priests,” said Ashi. “Priests are human and they might commit mistakes which we have to expect, but we need to respect them no matter what.”
The Catholic Studies Film Series will continue to screen different movies throughout the semester.
“Sins of omission can be as damaging as sins of commission. The themes of forgiveness and justice haunt the film,” said Greeley. “And, like all great films, it offers no final answer and leaves it to the audience to decide for themselves.”