In the months of May and June there will be a traveling screening throughout the United States and Canada of the documentary film For Love Alone. For Love Alone, a joint production of the Conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious and Grassroots Films “highlights the lives of women religious throughout the United States and emphasizes the great rewards and trials of dedicating one’s life to God.”
As of this writing, For Love Alone has screened at the Wake Up the World Rally in Toronto, Canada on May 3: At St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia on May 4, at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, in Boynton Beach, FL on May 5; at Texas A&M in College Station, TX on May 6; and at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver, CO on May 7.
The film has met with an enthusiastic response, and if it is anything like Grassroots Films’ acclaimed priestly vocations video Fishers of Men, that is not surprising:
After seeing the film at Toronto’s Wake Up the World Rally, Anishka S. said: "Many of us have not grown up or ever met nuns. This film gave us the perfect exposure to what the consecrated life is like. What a beautiful insight!"
Following the Boynton Beach screening, Msgr. David Toups, the Rector of St. Vincent DePaul Regional Seminary said "For me this film speaks to the complementarity of our vocations as priests and religious. Our calls are meant to be mutually inspiring...this film makes me want to be a better priest."
First year theology student Anthony Cavaliere, of the Diocese of Tallahassee, agreed: "I feel that this film captured the essence of consecrated life here in own back yard. I was very impressed by the honesty of the film, and the ways that is showed the beautiful simplicity that the sisters embody in their daily life and ministry. I know that this film will be an invaluable resource in promoting vocations. The joy that this film brings is very contagious."
Upcoming screenings will be at Catholic Underground in New York on Saturday, May 9; at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN on May 11; at the Archdiocesan Office of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, Canada on May 12; at the Archdiocese of Portland, OR on May 14; at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Franciscio on May 15; at Catholic Underground of Los Angeles on May 16, and at the Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha, NE on July 12.
The San Francisco screening will be at the St. Francis Room of St. Mary’s Cathedral on Friday, May 15 at 7:00 PM. The showing will be preceded by Eucharistic Adoration in the Cathedral at 6:00 PM. A number of the Sisters whose orders are profiled in the film will be in attendance to answer questions.
The Los Angeles screening will be on Saturday, May 16 at 7:00 PM at Catholic Underground at 8634 Holloway Dr, West Hollywood, California 90069. The Sisters will also be in attendance at the screening.
The Conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious was founded in 1992. Its history webpage describes its mission “In the spring of 1992, eighty major superiors of women religious from across the United States, under the guidance of Cardinal James Hickey, supported a petition to the Holy Father for the approval of a second conference or council of women religious in the United States. On June 13th the permission was granted and the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) was canonically erected.”
While it is perhaps too strong to say that the CMSWR was founded in opposition to the liberal Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the fact that he eighty major superiors saw a need for a second conference is suggestive, to say the least. What is certain is that many of the fastest growing (and youngest) orders of women religious are affiliated with the CMSWR, attracted by its greater emphasis on prayer, and religious community. Wikipedia writes: “According to the 2009 Study on Recent Vocations by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, the average median age of nuns and sisters in CMSWR institutes was 60, compared with 74 for those in LCWR; among those joining CMSWR institutes only 15% were over 40, compared with 56% for LCWR institutes; 43% of the CMSWR institutes had at least 5 novices, compared with 9% of the LCWR institutes. “
To learn more about the San Francisco screening, visit: