It’s Thursday, and that means it’s movie time on the blog. I am hosting the twelve short films about Madonna House that we hired a film company to make last year.
This week we have what I consider one of the best of the lot, the film introducing Catherine De Hueck Doherty, the founder of MH. It is a fine, fine introduction to her, giving not only the basic facts of her rather thrilling life, but a real sense of the person and the impact she had on others. I could see this particular video being very useful in a classroom setting, introducing high school students to contemporary Catholics or something.
So here it is, followed by some thoughts of mine:
“Catherine Doherty was a prophet, still is a prophet through her writings… she was a very exciting human being.”
“The main thing is to understand somebody who was transformed by her relationship with God.”
“At first you were drawn to her, and then you were drawn to what she was showing you. You would get caught up in this personality, and then you would get caught up in this vision of God and love and renewing the earth and restoring all things to Christ. And then you would see what she would see.”
“Catherine would call the people on the streets ‘Christophers’ – Christ bearers, and we have continued that tradition, because where else are you going to find Him, but in the poorest of the poor?”
“She didn’t set out to establish a community, but at a certain point she accepted that that was what was happening – these people were coming, and they were not going away!”
“It was just an ever-expanding experience, living at Madonna House, in every way.”
“The tragic events she went through did not diminish in any way her love for Christ or make her pessimistic about the world. That’s why I trust her, because she came through all these things with her faith still very much alive and flaming until her dying day.”
“My definition of a saint is somebody who puts down a path of light for their neighbour’s feet, and she certainly put down a great path for my feet, a trail of light for me. That’s what I think a saint is, so in my opinion she’s a saint!”
The latter quote is from a woman named Mary Davis (everyone who knows MH, knows Mary), who first came here when she was 17, joined as soon as she reasonably could, and has been here ever since. She has mostly worked in the gardens, a heavy physical job which still happily does now in her 80s.