A new documentary about Catholic Sisters and Nuns has just been released. Interrupted Lives: Catholic Sisters Under European Communism is a one-hour documentary that “explores the experiences of Greek and Roman Catholic Sisters of Eastern and Central Europe sisters who at the end of World War II were trapped under Soviet domination as Josef Stalin seized control.” (source: USCCB press release)
The documentary will be released to ABC stations and affiliates later in September. Visit the film’s website, interruptedlives.org.
The executive producers are Sisters Margaret Nacke, CSJ, and Mary Savoie, CSJ, both Sisters of Saint Joseph of Concordia, Kansas.
The sisters realized the urgency (because of the age of sister survivors) of interviewing sisters who had “endured imprisonment, exile to Siberia, forced farm and factory labor, deportation, seizure of their schools and hospitals and expulsion from their convents.” (source: USCCB press release)
Preserving the stories of the extraordinary courage and unwavering commitment of these sisters is important historical data for the archives of the Catholic church. Every effort was made by the Soviet communists and their satellite countries to suppress all activities of the sisters, depriving them of ministries that would in any way influence others and placing them in works that would negate any contact; therefore, whether on farms, in factories, caring for the elderly or incarcerated in prisons, sisters seemed undeterred in living their faith. (source: Sisters of Saint Joseph, Concordia, Kansas, February 3, 2009)
For more info on the making of the documentary, check out the Sisters of Saint Joseph link above and a 2003 article by Margot Patterson for the National Catholic Reporter “Preserving the gospel stories of today: Project seeks to record Catholic experience under communism” (September 19, 2003).