The life, work and death of El Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero will lead into the 40th anniversary of his assassination on March 24, 1980. Filmed in 1989 and featuring Raul Julia in the title role, the movie focuses on the last three years of Romero’s life. This moderate Catholic intellectual, a product of the institutional church, underwent a conversion experience in which the assassination of his friend Father Rutilio Grande played a key role. Romero’s compassion for the poor made him their outspoken advocate during the Salvadoran civil war and it cost him his life. This martyr was canonized in 2018 by Pope Francis.
Filmed in 1928, this silent film directed by Danish Carl Dreyer features actor Renee Jeanne Falconetti in her only film role. The story of the French saint Joan of Arc is known to many: her life as a shepherd girl, listening to the voices of angels and saints, following their directive (minus clerical intervention) at the age of 17 to lead the French army to victory, getting caught up in the political and institutional church intrigues of her time, being burned at the stake as a heretic at 19 on May 30, 1431.
She was canonized as a saint nearly 500 years later. The script follows closely the actual transcripts from her trial. Her story evokes OUR compassion as we reflect on this young woman whose fidelity to her “voices” and to her God cost her her life.
Mary Kaye Medinger is a lifelong educator, writer, editor, spiritual director and retreat leader with a particular interest in women’s spirituality, especially Mariology. A consociate of the Sisters of St. Joseph, she has spent nearly 40 years in various ministerial positions in parish, diocesan and ecumenical settings.