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Women of Faith
Women of the Catholic Church Speak
A film by Rebecca M. Alvin
2009, 60 minutes, Color/BW, DVD
Order No. W10997
This absorbing documentary examines women’s decisions to lead religious lives in the Roman Catholic tradition in the post-feminist era. Throughout history, nuns were given certain advantages over other women, while still oppressed within their vocational pursuits. They were taught to read and write, encouraged to pursue music, literature, art, philosophy and spirituality, and officially allowed to escape marriage’s powerless role of wife. But why would a woman choose a nun’s life today?

Individual interviews with seven women provide answers—and explore how rebellion can happen within and outside the Church, how women in the Church reconcile conflicting, religious, personal, and political beliefs, and how they view official Church positions on contraception, homosexuality, and women’s ordination as priests. The diverse group includes Poor Clares, contemplative nuns who spend most of their days in prayer, Maryknolls who have served in Central America, and a Roman Catholic Womanpriest. Both timely and insightful, the film provides a rare look at their experiences and current controversies over tradition, change and power within the Catholic Church.


  • Queens Int’l Film Festival
  • Woods Hole Film Festival
  • Cape Cod Museum of Art
  • Boston Museum of Art
  • Call to Action Conference
  • Cape Ann Community Cinema
  • DoctoberFest

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    "Thoughtful and provocative…Reveals the diversity of the ways in which women engage and grapple with the issues prevalent in the church today."
    Dr. Jeana Del Rosso
    Author, “Writing Catholic Women"

    "Provides rare insight into the history and development of women religious in this country. Students of women's history, church history, and pastoral ministries will all be fascinated by this film."
    Kathleen Schatzberg
    President, Cape Cod Community College

    “Dispels any notion that nuns just blindly accept and follow the dictates of the Roman Catholic Church. Alvin gives us an insider's view of their lives, their opinions, their approach to religion and faith.”
    Tim Miller
    The Cape Cod Times

    “An intimate encounter with women who lived in cloistered communities and the ways they are called to serve.”
    Dr. Deborah Vess
    Prof of History & Interdisciplinary Studies, Georgia College & State University

    "A must-see for anyone who cares about the Church and its future."
    Robert O'Toole
    NOVA Catholic Community

    “Recommended…an interesting study…for those interested in religious studies, women’s studies, feminist issues and Catholic studies. It may easily be used in high school classrooms and higher.”

    Video Librarian

    "It can be a useful tool in the feminist classroom for understanding not only where women fit in the Catholic Church, but how they act and claim their personhood within a hierarchal institution."
    Films for the Feminist Classroom

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