Friday, September 28, 2018

Dominican Vocation Film from 1960

I am sure our readers will find this vocational film made by the Dominican Order in 1960 very interesting, despite the almost completely expressionless voice of the narrator. It was filmed at St Albert the Great College in Oakland, California, and seems to have been made not by professionals, but by the fathers of the house themselves. There are several scenes of the Mass, and one of the Exsultet being sung at the Easter vigil; there is also a brief but lovely scene of a young friar caring for an elderly one, while the narrator recites the words from the antiphon Media vita, the prayer that “we not be cast off in our old age by the Lord, but when our strength shall have failed, He shall not depart from us.” (This was the verse that St Thomas Aquinas could never hear without weeping.) As is almost always the case with such videos from the late ’50s and early ’60s, there are also a few worrisome signs: the almost featureless chapel of the cooperator brothers, the table-altar in the student brothers’ chapel, with a very modern-art crucifix, and the chasuble used at Mass.

Back in July, we shared a vocational film made for the Franciscans in 1962, starring Jack Nicholson, who was then 25 year old, as a young friar looking back on his path to priestly ordination.

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