Erin and I are just back from a whirlwind weekend in Europe filming the documentary on the life and mission of Sr. Marie.
We began filming in Paris at the Miraculous Medal Shrine on Rue de Bac. Recall that St. Catherine Laboure, also a Daughter of Charity, is the one chosen by God and Our Lady to give the world the Miraculous Medal. (The date commemorating the Medal is November 27, a particularly special day for my husband and I as it is our wedding anniversary!) In these times, God has chosen Sr. Marie to give the world Mary's House. The Daughters of Charity seem to be specially chosen by God to give the world gifts from Our Lady! One of their own, the very sweet and hospitible Sr. Loretto, assisted us the entire day (and the day before) as we filmed in the Chapel, courtyard, and garden.
Members of the De Mandat-Grancey family met at the Shrine to be filmed as they recounted their memories of Sr. Marie and the impressions she has made in their lives. Among those who where filmed were the Countess De Mandat-Grancey and her sons including the Count and two Barons along with her daughter, a Sister of St. Dominic, and another Baroness.
From there we headed for Dijon in Burgundy to find the Chateau Grancey. It was a spectacular sight! Inside the walls of the castle is also the Collegialle, or the Church of St. John the Evangelist. The Baron was filmed in the morning sharing the incredibly interesting and detailed history on the De Mandat-Grancey Family which includes saints, Popes, and a long blood line with records going back as far as 400 AD.
After the Baron painted the history picture in the first film session our next film session after lunch was inside the Chateau Chapel where the reliquary holding the Cornerstones of Mary's House in Ephesus are enshrined. In this chapel the Baroness told of her many pilgrimages to Mary's House in Ephesus over the years and the profound effect Mary's House has had upon her. She also shared her insightful and edifying understanding of the Providential fact that Sr. Marie was born in and grew up in the Chateau which is blessed to have a Church dedicated to St. John the Evangelist to call it's own. How fitting that Sr. Marie grew up honoring St. John the Evangelist in this Church just a stroll down a path from her home, and then one day is honored by the Catholic Church as Foundress of Mary's House in Ephesus, the haven where St. John the Evangelist brought our dear Blessed Mother after Our Lord' death and resurrection; a place that also honors St. John!
Next the Baroness introduced Erin on film. Erin shared her story of learning about Sr. Marie while living in London and meeting the Baroness De Mandat-Grancey. She lovingly told the story of the life of Sr. Marie including references to her early childhood, her calling to the religious life, leaving the grand life of nobility, and her sacrificial religious life serving the poor and her devotion to building the solidarity of the Children of Mary. Of course she then went on to tell of the finding of Mary's House in Ephesus.
In the early evening it was my turn to try to honor Sr. Marie. I was filmed outside at sunset on the grand terrace that wraps the seven story rear of the chateau. It was my job to to help people understand the connection Sr. Marie has with our times and world peace especially between God's children of different faiths. I told the story of 9/11 (see the sidebar for the article Why Sister Marie? Why Now?), my attempt to assist with the cause for Sr. Marie with this blog, and the need we have for signatures and testimonies. (Also see the sidebar!)
The last filming of the day after dinner, took place in the great room in front of the fire place in the late evening. There the Baron, Baroness, Erin and I sat and were filmed adding to our earlier comments. The day ended at 11:30. We were all very tired but quite satisfied with the day's effort.
The following day Erin and I headed by train to London where we met the film crew in the Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Erin was filmed telling the story of how the prayer on the prayer card came to be written with the dearly departed Father Ignatius, and then how the prayer received the Imprimatur of the Church from Archbishop Bernardini. I spoke about how the greater Church is currently in dialogue with Muslim clerics (see http://www.acommonword.com/), and how five Archbishops recently petitioned the Holy See to consider a new title for Our Lady; Mary, Mother of All Humanty. It is confirmation to me that Sr. Marie's mission is in line with the Vatican's current spirit for peace between God's children of different religions all under the Mantle of Our Lady and Mother.
I cannot end without mentioning the film crew. These fine and noble young men are originally from Poland. Dominic, Robert, and Jarek worked tirelessly from dawn until late night on Saturday after filming on Friday in Paris. Just prior to this they had travelled by road from London to Paris in their van packed with equipment, and now were headed by road from Paris to Dijon. Then on Sunday they drove again from Dijon back to London to film the short clips from the Shrine of O.L. Mt. Carmel. Their generosity to the Cause for Sr. Marie and their dedication to her mission in these times is only outdone by their patience, kindness, great humor, and above all obvious zeal and love for Jesus Christ and His Holy Mother. I will always keep them in my heart and prayers. I ask you too to pray for them as they dedicate their lives to God's service in film. May Sr. Marie bless them abundantly.
I await permission to share some of my simple photos of the weekend with you and especially for the time when I can say that the documentary is ready to share with you. Until then I bid you "adieu."
" I am not a priest and cannot bless them, but all that the heart of a mother can ask of God for her children, I ask of Him and will never cease to ask Him." ~ Sister Marie