Gospel in Action
In a departure from reviewing mainstream movies from Hollywood and beyond, I want to recommend a production from the Dominican Order, Gospel in Action. This is a well done short film (20 minutes), directed by Eric Salobir, OP, and Dominic DeLay, OP, from an original idea by Prakash Lohale, OP, and Jean Claude Lavigne, OP. The film is available for viewing on the web site of the Order or on youtube.com. It’s a good example of the opportunity we have today to preach through the internet.
Gospel in Action tells the stories of contemporary Dominicans doing justice ministries throughout the world. They include Henri Burin des Roziers, OP, ministering to farm workers in Brazil; Godfrey N’Zamujo, OP, ministering to the people of Berin, West Africa; Pedro Meca, OP, working and living among the poor and homeless in Paris; and Bishop Pierre Claverie, OP, who was assassinated in Algeria in 1996. Certainly the most poignant images in the film are those of Bishop Claverie, courageously extolling dialogue between people of different faiths shortly before his own death.
Interspersed among the stories are the words of such great Dominicans as Dominic himself, Thomas Aquinas, Bartholome de las Casas, and Martin de Porres. The inclusion of such great members of the Order situates the work of the contemporary Dominicans to those of our 800 year tradition. The film is also a reminder of the necessary link between study and ministry. Dominicans of every generation study theology and scripture in addition to the signs of the times, in order to preach the Good News to all.
Two Masters of the Order are featured in the film. First the previous Master, Timothy Radcliffe, OP, tells of the inspiring faith of the African peoples, finding God in the midst of the hardships of life. Finally, our current Master, Carlos Aspiroz Costa, OP, invites Dominicans throughout the world to share films of their evangelizing ministries with the Order. Instructions for submitting the films can be found on www.op.org Films will be available on the web site and five will be shown at the Dominican Chapter to be held later this year in Rome.
One of the reasons I love films is that they are a powerful means of telling stories of peoples throughout the world. These include stories of fictional and non-fictional people who illuminate our human situation. I salute the Dominicans involved in producing Gospel in Action for telling the stories of these brothers working for justice today. I see this as just a beginning, for there are many more stories to be shared. I hope many will watch this short film and accept the invitation from fr. Carlos to submit their own stories of preaching the gospel in every corner of the world today.
Tom Condon, OP