TV and Movies

Boston's CatholicTV Prepares to go National

April 27, 2010

The following article was from the Boston Globe:

WATERTOWN — A half-century ago, Boston's Catholic television organization broadcast Sunday Mass once a week on borrowed airwaves.

Today, The CatholicTV Network is a fill-your-plate buffet of 24/7 Catholic content, including not only the full menu of prayer and services, but also religious cartoons, a Catholic trivia game show for children, and "House + Home," a decidedly wholesome "reality-style show" featuring local Catholic families. CatholicTV is on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube; there is an iPhone application, as well as an active blog.

Within the next five years, CatholicTV's leaders want their network to be available across America. This week, they signed a deal with Comcast that marks a first step toward that goal, the opportunity to pitch local Comcast service providers around the country for a spot in their channel lineup. In the process, the station hopes to encourage creative Catholics in dioceses nationwide to contribute content.

The Rev. Robert Reed, the station's ambitious 50-year-old director, says CatholicTV has moved far beyond its initial mission, as Boston Catholic Television, of providing a way for Boston's elderly and ailing Catholics to participate in worship from home. Today, he says, CatholicTV is a form of evangelization and outreach, seeking to show the joyful side of the church in the United States and to remind estranged Catholics of the "beauty and diversity and wealth" of the institution that was once their spiritual home.

Also, as the Vatican is struggling to deal with the sexual abuse crisis that exploded eight years ago in Boston, Reed sees an opportunity for Boston Catholics to help rebuild the archdiocese's image.

"I think the CatholicTV network can be one of the ways that we can redeem ourselves as an archdiocese," he said. "I want people to look at the Archdiocese of Boston and be able to smile and say, 'You know, that's a great church, those are good people,' because we are."

Although televangelists like Jerry Falwell and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker became household names in the 1980s, Catholics have not had such a vivid presence on American television since Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen's hit 1950s show, "Life Is Worth Living."

Although some Catholic dioceses have developed strong local TV programming, "you don’t have an emphasis on charismatic preachers," according to Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Catholic Church tends to emphasize sacraments, while the Protestant churches emphasize preaching.

The one Catholic television network that has flourished, Eternal Word Television Network, has kept a heavy focus on devotional aspects of the faith, broadcasting Mass, the rosary, and devotions, even as it has tried to broaden its content in recent years.

"Everything we do is about pointing people back to their local parish community," said its chief executive, Michael Warsaw. Warsaw, who frowns upon the use of such words as "competitor" to describe other religious networks, seemed unperturbed about CatholicTV's ambitions.

CatholicTV is in many ways dwarfed by EWTN, which boasts an annual budget of $50 million, 328 employees in the United States (there are 15 regional offices worldwide), and a reach of 160 million to 170 million households around the globe. By contrast, CatholicTV has 26 staff members who work out of a former convent in Watertown and has an annual budget of about $3.4 million. CatholicTV raises about $1 million a year in donations, which it supplements with income from a $14 million endowment.

CatholicTV is available in much of New England and some other parts of the nation; Reed estimates the programming reaches about 5.2 million households in locations as far-flung as Chattanooga, Tenn., and Fresno, Calif., by cable, and throughout the country by satellite.

The core component of the station's daily schedule remains morning Mass, said by local priests who take turns presiding from the station's chapel, usually with an in-studio congregation to help viewers feel as though they are part of a community.

Reed said he once got a letter from a viewer telling him of a woman who dressed in her Sunday best to watch Mass each day on her television. "It’s their companion and connection to the church," he said.

Some of the station's most entertaining programming still has the look of community access television. "Going My Way," for example, features a pair of priests, with a microphone and a piano, singing standards such as "Embraceable You." On "Spotlight," two priests review movies, but they often talk about trends or themes.

CatholicTV is working hard to improve production quality, even experimenting with 3-D on television and on the Internet. The April edition of the station's magazine, the CatholicTV monthly, included a pair of 3-D glasses.

CatholicTV is seeking to develop partnerships with other dioceses. It recently began running a show for teenagers created in the Trenton, N.J., Diocese. Reed is trying to scrape together the money to buy the rights to run better movies and, he hopes, episodes of "The Flying Nun."

CatholicTV has a lively presence on Facebook and Twitter, and its website makes it possible for viewers to watch streaming video, as well as about 1,400 episodes of archived programs.

Stewart Hoover, a professor who specializes in religion and media at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said he doubts that CatholicTV will be able to attract younger people who are not Catholic already.

The very notion of an officially Catholic channel is "somewhat anachronistic," he said. "It's not consistent with the way audiences today consume media."

"Even religious audiences . . . don't go for the symbolic blessing of a channel," he said. "They resent having an authority telling them this is the proper way to think about things."

But some Catholics are voting with their remote controls.

Mary Casey, a 48-year-old librarian who lives in Hanson, said her family has begun watching a great deal more CatholicTV over the last five or six years, as programming has improved. A Catholic who would like to attend daily Mass but cannot fit it into her schedule, she said she watches Mass about four times a week, as well as educational shows and Vatican coverage.

"I feel like it is really on the cutting edge," she said. "Anytime during the day I can either plop down at my TV or go on the website, and I can find something that will appeal to me and help me in my faith life."

The Perfect Game

April 18, 2010

The Perfect Game

Based on a true story. In 1957 a rag-tag, shoeless, poor group of kids from Monterrey, Mexico shocked the world by winning 13 games in a row and the Little League World Series in the only perfect game ever pitched in the Championship. These kids, led by their priest and a down-and-out former major leaguer embark on a journey through the southern US and up into Williamsport, PA for the Championship game. They encountered many adversities including nearly being deported and the bigotry that wouldn't allow them into certain restaurants or travel on certain buses. They never lost their faith and eventually captured the hearts of both nations. This is a heart-warming inspirational story in the tradition of "Rudy", "Hoosiers", "Coach Carter" or "Friday Night Lights".

Get more information and purchase DVD at

CatholicTV in 3D

March 23, 2010

CatholicTV The latest innovation from the CatholicTV Network is here: 3D videos from some of our most popular original series and more! You will need 3D glasses to enjoy these videos. Get a free pair inside our April magazine, featuring a cover story on living the faith in 3D.

  • * Catholic Destinations with Kevin Nelson from Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles
  • * Our game show for kids on all ages, WOW: The CatholicTV Challenge WUDABOUT: The Resurrection
  • * A special web-only edition of This is the Day in 3D
  • * See Father Dan spin on a compass on We’ve Got to Talk
  • * Pray The Rosary in 3D with Father Reed in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
  • * Meet the Rinkacs family and Charlie, the wonder dog, in 3D on House+Home
  • * Going My Way with guest Father Myles Sheehan, SJ
  • * "Grace Before Meals" from Blink featuring Father Leo Patalinghug and Father Reed cooking
  • * A tour of the Monsignor Francis T. McFarland Center, headquarters of the CatholicTV Network
  • * Our iPhone App “commercial” in 3D
  • * A new station-ID in 3D – “It’s all for you”

The Faithful Traveler

February 3, 2010

Diana von Glahn This March a new travel television series with a Catholic focus debuts on EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network). The Faithful Traveler television series captures the faith, fun and excitement of Catholic travel. The show's host, Diana von Glahn, takes you on a fun and faith-filled tour of some of the most amazing churches, shrines, and places of pilgrimage throughout the United States!

"You don't have to travel all the way to Europe and beyond to experience breathtaking churches and shrines," says Diana von Glahn. "We have so many Catholic treasures right here in the U.S. and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to bring these glorious sites into people’s homes and hearts!" Diana is not only the host of the series, she is also the writer and co-creator, along with her husband David. A cradle Catholic with deep religious roots from her Mexican/American heritage, von Glahn presents the history, architecture and religious significance of each site in a fast-paced show that will leave viewers thirsty for more.

The first season of The Faithful Traveler focuses on the East Coast, with travel destinations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Viewers will walk along with Diana von Glahn as she travels to such majestic sites as St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, NY, the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, NJ and the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Shot in high definition, the series is not only a treat for the eyes but also for the ears: it features the music of some of today's most talented musicians, including Sarah Bauer, Nichole Ackoury, Popple, Ceili Rain, and others.

The series will debut on EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) on Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 10:30 am EST, and will be repeated on Sunday, March 7 at 5 pm EST. Consult your local schedules for channel and alternate times. The first episode is on the National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia, located in Philadelphia, PA.

The episode list is as follows:

Episode 1: National Shrine of St Rita of Cascia, Philadelphia
Episode 2: National Shrine of St Katharine Drexel, Philadelphia
Episode 3: Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish and St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church, New York, NY
Episode 4: National Blue Army Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, New Jersey
Episode 5: St. Mary's Spiritual Center & Historic Site on Paca Street in Baltimore and the National Shrine of St Elizabeth Ann Seton, Emmitsburg
Episode 6: Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Philadelphia
Episode 7: Old St Patrick's Cathedral, New York
Episode 8: Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Baltimore
Episode 9: St Alphonsus Church, Baltimore
Episode 10: National Shrine of St John Neumann, Philadelphia
Episode 11: Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Newark
Episode 12: St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York
Episode 13: St Patrick's Cathedral, New York

For more information about The Faithful Traveler series, visit or

Clare and Francis

January 7, 2010

Sarah's Choice From Italian film company Lux Vide, the producers of Maria Goretti and St. John Bosco, comes this new epic feature film on the lives of St. Clare and St. Francis of Assisi. Shot on location in Italy, stars Mary Petruolo and Ettore Bassi give inspiring and moving performances as Clare, the daughter of a patrician family, and Francis, the son of a rich merchant, who leave all to follow Christ. Both founded major religious orders and together they inspired many to follow their radical call to live the Gospel.

16 page booklet by Tim Drake with study questions, biographies of St. Clare and St. Francis, and resource list

Behind the scenes featurette and a special "Making of Clare and Francis" featurette.

English and Italian language, Spanish & English subtitles.

Get more information and purchase DVD at Ignatius Press.

John XXIII: The Pope of Peace

January 7, 2010

John XXIII: The Pope of Peace From the makers of Pope John Paul II and Saint Rita comes this inspiring feature film on Blessed Pope John XXIII starring Ed Asner. Shot on location in Italy, this movie tells the whole life story of John XXIII from his youth to the papacy. Elected supposedly as an “interim Pope” who would just keep the status quo and listen to the advisers around him, John XXIII proved to be his own man when he surprised the Church and world by calling for the Second Vatican Council. Also stars Claude Rich, Sydne Rome, Massimo Ghini, and Franco Interlenghi.

16 page booklet by Carl E. Olson with study questions, biography of Blessed John XXIII, and resource list

Special documentary film with renowned Catholic Historian James Hitchcock, and Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ, on Blessed John XXIII and Vatican II.

English and Italian language, Spanish & English subtitles.

Get more information and purchase DVD at Ignatius Press.

Pope Benedict XVI: A Love Affair with the Truth

January 7, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI:  A Love Affair with the Truth The first in-depth biographical documentary film on the life of Pope Benedict XVI, from his childhood in Bavaria, Germany to his papacy as the Vicar of Christ. It includes unique film footage of his youthful days, his ordination to the priesthood, his consecration as Bishop, elevation to Cardinal, his work as head of the CDF and a close colleague of Pope John Paul II, his election as Pope, and what he has accomplished so far in his first three years of his papacy. This film reveals the real Joseph Ratzinger, a man who always sought and loved the truth, and has combined a brilliant mind with the pastoral heart of a shepherd in love with his flock. Includes Bonus Feature film footage of the highlights of the Pope’s recent visit to the USA.

Get more information and purchase DVD at Ignatius Press.

Sarah's Choice

December 10, 2009

Sarah's Choice NASHVILLE, TN (November 2, 2009) -- One of the biggest name artists in contemporary Christian music -- Australian born, Grammy Award winner Rebecca St. James, is about to add her first leading role on film to her impressive lists of accomplishments--a list that also includes success as a motivational author and speaker, with more than a half dozen major books to her credit.

Her debut lead acting role is in the November 17th national release of "Sarah's Choice," a faith and values based production from PureFlix Entertainment with a strong pro-life message. The story line follows an ambitious young career woman on the fast track to success when she suddenly discovers shes pregnant outside of marriage. The role is a courageous one for the single Aussie singer who has made a bold statement on the abstinence message throughout her career. Her strong stance has even caught the attention of the White House, and she has become a fixture in the national spotlight for her outspoken views on the issues facing America's youth.

St. James feels that the pro-life message in "Sarah's Choice" is one that holds promise of helping young women choose life in the midst of the distress of an unplanned pregnancy. Even she herself admits being impacted by the movie.

"I think the biggest thing the film imparted to me, both in researching the role and in portraying the character, was a real sense of empathy for women who find themselves in the situation my character is going through. My heart goes out to them as I have seen the extreme amount of pressure and fear that can come at such a vulnerable time," she says.

In a culture that seems to diminish the significance of this life-altering decision, for both mother and child, St. James sees this film as an opportunity to be a voice of hope and encouragement for those in need of it.

"If they're not getting God honoring advice, too often they choose abortion, which brings with it the incredible pain of guilt and regret. I came away from the movie with a real passion to impact this group of women with the message of Gods heart for the unborn and the young women facing the choice of the life of their baby."

The film also stars comedian Brad Stine, Charlene Tilton (Problem Child 2), Dick Van Patten (That 70's Show, Arrested Development), and Staci Keanan (Step By Step, My Two Dads).

The DVD, which includes bonus featurettes including "The Making Of," "Trailers," and "Commentary," will be available at all major Christian stores November 17.

Get more information at the official site for

Mother Teresa: The Legacy

November 24, 2009

Mother Teresa: The Legacy Mother Teresa: The Legacy (2004) is the dramatic story of Mother Teresa's last day, her sudden death and her moving state funeral which was attended by the poor, the powerful and the rich from around the world. At the heart of this film and, for the first time, we see and hear Mother Teresa reveal her simple but profound spirituality that, put into action, transcended religious, political and cultural boundaries and enabled her to open 500 homes for the poor in over 124 countries. The film includes intimate and never-before-seen footage of Mother Teresa's private burial. But it is Mother's words, finally, that reveal why she has captivated the hearts and admiration of the world.

At the heart of this film and, for the first time, we see and hear Mother Teresa reveal her simple but profound spirituality that, put into action, transcended religious, political and cultural boundaries and enabled her to open 500 homes for the poor in over 124 countries. The film includes intimate and never-before-seen footage of Mother Teresa's private burial. But it is Mother's words, finally, that reveal why she has captivated the hearts and admiration of the world.

Get more information at the official site for Petrie Productions.

Movie - Joseph of Nazareth: The Man Closest to Christ

November 7, 2009

Joseph The first feature film ever on the story of St. Joseph - carpenter, husband of Mary and the human father of Jesus Christ. Scripture tells us that St. Joseph was a "just man", and that God gave him the most daunting task ever asked of a man - to be the husband of the woman who would give birth to the Messiah, and the father and protector of this Holy Family, the man closest to Christ.

Starring Tobias Moretti in a manly, appealing performance, we are shown the human, noble and the deeply spiritual aspects of Joseph the carpenter, son of David, servant of God and loving husband of Mary. He is presented as a man of faith who has to grapple greatly with the profound mysteries of the divine conception, virgin birth and the Incarnation of the Son of God, and the incredible challenges of protecting and raising Jesus amidst the threats on his life from the moment of His birth and beyond.

As Joseph is informed by God's messengers about trusting and following God's plan for the mysterious divine conception and humble birth of Christ, the dangerous flight into Egypt to save his child, and finally returning to Nazareth to raise Jesus, teach him carpentry and guide his family, this lovely film presents beautiful vignettes of these and other powerful scenes in the life of the young Christ and the Holy Family that are authentic and inspiring. Also stars Stefania Rivi as Mary, and Franco Interlenghi and Andrea Prodan.

Filmed in English, includes Spanish subtitles. 16 page Collector's Booklet.

This is a Region 1 DVD (playable ONLY in Bermuda, Canada, the Cayman Islands, United States and U.S. territories)

Get more information at the official site for Ignatius Press.

Movie - St Teresa of the Andes

November 7, 2009

St Teresa of the Andes A beautiful, epic mini-series produced in Chile that tells the story of the inspiring life of the new young Carmelite saint who lived in the 20th century, died at the age of just 19 years old, and was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1993. St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes, known officially as St. Teresa of the Andes, grew up in a close-knit, upper middle class Catholic family in Santiago, Chile, was very popular with her friends and relatives, entered Carmel at age 19, and died before her 20th birthday.

So what is it about this young, modern American saint that caused the Church to recognize her heroic virtue and sanctity at such a young age? Though she was a Carmelite for less than a year, she possessed a refreshing sanctity and message that will resonate with all lovers of Christ, especially with the youth of today. That inspiring story of Chiles first saint, and Americas newest and youngest saint, is revealed in this definitive film on St. Teresa of the Andes.

Starring actress Pauline Urrutia in an acclaimed performance as St. Teresa, and with excellent acting performances all around, this film shows Teresa as a normal young woman who was a well-rounded person with many interests, including being an excellent athlete, who had a winning personality and a profound love for God, her family and friends. She had a true contemplative spirit to match her outgoing personality, and when she entered Carmel she already had a deep spirituality and a strong prayer life. Thus she quickly ascended the heights of sanctity that was recognized by her Carmelite community and beyond. She is a great role model and witness for todays youth.

Includes special documentary film on life & message of St. Teresa with Fr. Christopher La Rocca, OCD. Also includes a 16 page Collectors Booklet.

This is a Region 1 DVD (playable ONLY in Bermuda, Canada, the Cayman Islands, United States and U.S. territories)

This DVD includes the following language tracks: Spanish with English subtitles.

Get more information at the official site for Ignatius Press.

Movie - The Big Question

October 31, 2009

The Big Question A troubled man bursts into your child's schoolhouse. Without warning, he chases out all the boys and lines the girls up. Then he begins to shoot them one by one. For decades your people's back have been broken by the oppressive yoke of Apartheid. Suddenly, the tables are turned and you and your friends are in power. Your own mother is brutally raped and slain by a random burglar. What would you do? Could you forgive? Should you forgive?

In this remarkable film the filmmakers explore The Big Question through astonishing acts of forgiveness, courage, and will.

Featuring Desmond Tutu, Deepak Chopra, Sr. Helen Prejean, Thich Nhat Hanh, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and Hopi Elders.

"In this time, when the world teeters on disaster in Iraq, the Middle East and Africa, the question (of forgiveness) is more important than ever. The choice is crystal clear. To forgive, as so many spiritual leaders implore us to? Or heed the angry voices urging us to take revenge. Forgive or not is the question of our time. And if this film we've made, these stories we've found, these voices that have opened up to us in such generous ways help push that dialogue in any way, not just me but all of us who worked so hard to make this happen, will be not just proud, but blessed." (Director, Vince DiPersio).

Directed by 3-time Academy Award nominee Vince DiPersio.

Produced by Paulist Productions. Get more information at the official site for The Big Question.


October 31, 2009

THEDRIVEtv Jesus took a three year road trip. I know. It wasn't a road trip in the conventional 21st century sense. No gas-guzzling SUV, potty break pit stops or visits to Israel's largest roll of parchment. But look at the similarities: traveling to new places near and far (on foot even!). Hanging out all hours of the day and night with your best friends (the disciples). Stepping outside your comfort zone and meeting new people (we've all heard stories about those sketchy Samaritans). Even getting into some serious mischief (add one whip to dozens of money changers and watch the fireworks!). What makes Jesus' road trip unique, however, was the history changing purpose. Jesus not only pointed everyone He encountered back to God, He also reconciled a sinfully broken humanity to the Almighty Creator.

THEDRIVEtv doesn't claim to atone for the sins of humanity, but it does point viewers to Christ. Hosts, Chris Molitor and Kyle Mitchell, aided (and abetted) by intrepid director, Aaron Glenn, and camera man, Steve Carey, chronicle every step of their journey as they explore and prod, seeking people's thoughts on the eternal, while gently directing them toward the one true God and His Son. Over a five week trip that encompassed over 8,000 miles, these four young men interacted with hundreds of people, from old friends to new acquaintances. And God transformed them through the experience.

I know what you're thinking. A reality TV show can't possibly communicate the eternal truth of the Gospel. Well, that's true of your typically vacuous Dancing-with-the-Sweet-16-Idol-Survivor-from-The-Hills shows. But don't throw the drama out with the dirty laundry. Jesus communicated unseen spiritual truth by meeting people where they are at, using the "stuff" of modern life to transmit His eternal message. While Jesus used rural and farming analogies, THEDRIVEtv turns the great American tradition of road tripping into one big teachable moment, and uses it as an opportunity to introduce others to their loving Creator in a meaningful way. Sure, they stopped to eat great food and have wacky fun along the way, but they never lost sight of the ultimate purpose.

The guys don't shy away from the tough questions and uncomfortable shades of modern life either (much like the worlds most famous carpenter's Son). These young men consistently shine the light of Christ into these areas -- illuminating what many young people might be personally wrestling with today. These encounters aren't always pretty, but they are definitely honest and authentic. Those are qualities young people seek. They respond to whats "real" (which explains the tremendous popularity of reality TV), and they will easily relate to THEDRIVEtv as it leads them toward our Heavenly Father.

God, forever, changed the four men who undertook this radical road trip.

Produced by Paulist Productions. Watch episodes online here.

TV/Video - Tyler's Ride

October 31, 2009

The 13th Day You're a super smooth, super senior living a dream life in L.A. Dad suddenly pulls the plug. Can you "man up?"

It's Tyler Mason's 23rd birthday. He's expecting the keys to a new car. Instead Dad gives him his walking papers. "Mr. Tough Love," evicts him and cuts the cord to his ATM. Tyler, a fifth year college student, has skated for years on charm and good looks while hanging out at the beach. Now, he's out on his own swimming with the sharks.

He gets and loses three jobs in just one day. His self-esteem disappears faster than the money his mother slips him. Everything is harder than he thought. His sketchy friend Vinny Choi, wants to keep living the phat life. Lauren Vazquez, a true friend who's learned to make her own way, helps him get a job -- against her better judgment. But, does she want to be more than just Tyler's friend?

The real shake up comes when Tyler meets Jesse, a musician with a dream and a plan. Tyler is about to take the ride of his life.

Produced by Paulist Productions. Watch episodes online here.

Movie - The 13th Day

October 1, 2009

The 13th Day Based on the memoirs of Sister Maria Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, and thousands of independent eyewitness accounts, The 13th Day is a dramatic retelling of the experiences of three shepherd children between May and October 1917.

The 13th Day, the first major motion picture by directors Ian and Dominic Higgins, opens with Sister Maria Lucia de Jesus dos Santos recalling the events that transpired between May 13, 1917 and October 13, 1917 in the Cova da Iria (Cove of Irene) region of Fatima, Portugal. The date is 1937 and Sister Lucia, at the Convent of Ponteverde, has been asked by her superiors to write down the events that she said "changed her life forever."

Sister Lucia places the events in time, demonstrating that they took place during a period of great turmoil the First World War in Europe and the Communist revolution in Russia.

"In Fatima," she says, "we were lucky. It seemed to us as if our lives went on as normal."

Lucia introduces us to her cousins, the other two seers, the compassionate Francisco and the younger Jacinta. Although primarily black and white, filmmakers Ian and Dominic Higgins creatively utilize color in the film during those moments when the supernatural is breaking through to our natural world.

This first happens during the heavenly lady's first appearance to the three children on May 13, 1917.

At the first apparition, the heavenly lady asks the children to pray the Rosary every day, and asks them to return to the same place, at the same time, on the 13th of every month for five months.

Although the children agree not to tell anyone, Jacinta is unable to contain her excitement, revealing the events to her family members. Jacinta's father, "Ti" Marto, is one of the first to believe the children. Others are skeptical.

Lucia's own mother, Maria Rosa (played by Jane Lesley), is both doubtful and hostile, blaming her husband for filling their children's heads with "fairy stories."

Unable to get her daughter to recant, Maria takes Lucia to the parish priest, Father Ferreira for further interrogation. While not inclined to believe that the apparition is from Heaven, he is willing to believe that Lucia has had some contact with the supernatural.

As a result of the tremendous amount of disbelief, Lucia is plagued with doubts, nightmares, and the taunts of family, neighbors, and friends.

Determined to run away and not return to the Cova, as the 13th of June approaches, Lucia finds herself drawn back, "like a moth to a flame."

"I had to return. She was so beautiful, so good. I had to see her face again and feel the love in her smile," says Lucia.

During the second apparition, the children are again told to pray the Rosary daily for peace. Additionally, Lucia is told that she must learn to read and write so that she can make the lady's message known to the world.

With each new apparition, more and more visitors are drawn to the Cova, which also attracts the attention of the government of Vila Nova de Ourem, specifically the attention of the administrator Arturo de Oliveiro Santos (played by Tarek Merlin).

The vision of July 13th is unlike the previous apparitions. During this apparition the children are shown a vision of Hell, told about the future role of Russia, and are given a vision of an assassination of the Pope.

"The things we had seen changed us," said Lucia. "Jacinta preferred solitude; Francisco became more withdrawn. We hid from the world."

In August, the children are kidnapped by the major and brought to Ourem, thus preventing their attendance at the August 13th apparition. Unable to get them to recant, he threatens each of the children with death by being boiled in oil.

While waiting in their prison cell, the piety of the children impresses the other prisoners, who end up praying with the seers.

In one of the film's most moving scenes, all three children bravely decide to face death rather than reveal Our Lady's secrets. The children are eventually freed. By October 13th, the date of the promised miracle, between 60,000-70,000 people arrive at the Cova. There, Our Lady reiterates to Lucia that people must turn to God. Lucia is also told that Francisco and Jacinta will be going to Heaven soon.

Worried that she will be left alone, Our Lady tells Lucia that she will always be with her.

Those gathered at the Cova witness the incredible Miracle of the Sun as it spins and then dives in the sky, drying up the ground which had been soaked by rain.

After the First World War, Francisco succumbs to the Spanish influenza and dies on April 4, 1919. Jacinta follows on February 20, 1920. Lucia goes to Porto to enter the School Sisters of St. Dorothy.

"I am told that there is a language in which Fatima means peace," says Lucia at the film's end. "It is my hope that Fatima will remain a light in the dark. A light that will lead us to peace."

Sister Lucia died on February 13, 2005. The Shrine at Our Lady of Fatima continues to receive more than 4 million pilgrims annually.

Visit for information and to order the DVD.