Special Edition Film and Faith-Sharing Guide Invite Dialogue

The challenges and blessings of contemporary parish life are on full display in the documentary film Scenes from a Parish, and RENEW International invites parishes everywhere to explore these themes with a special faith-sharing edition DVD and guide.

Scenes from a Parish offers a rare and compelling glimpse into one parish's experience as it struggles to reconcile ideals of faith with the realities of today’s changing and diverse culture. Director James Rutenbeck spent four years capturing the people and places in and around St. Patrick’s Parish in Lawrence, Massachusetts. This working-class city home to generations of Northern European descent has, in recent years, attracted a new wave of immigrants from Latin America and beyond.

Scenes from a Parish has captured media attention and positive reviews since its original airing on the PBS showcase, “Independent Lens.” Boston Globe called the film “surpassingly lucid.” Booklist dubbed it “a surefire discussion starter for religious and community groups and college classrooms.”

With the special Faith-Sharing Edition DVD, members of parishes and communities have the opportunity to view, reflect upon, and share faith on important themes of welcoming the stranger, compassion, and feeding the hungry. The DVD presents the full-length film in English with Spanish subtitles, plus special faith-sharing clips and bonus features from the filmmaker.

The companion Film Faith-Sharing Guide, packaged with each DVD, is designed with scriptural references, reflection questions, and special scene sequences incorporated into each session. The faith-sharing guide is available in both English- and Spanish-language versions.

Reverend Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J., executive director of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, lauds the film’s potential for prompting dialogue. “The characters, scenes, images and storyline of this film offer such a rich and provocative source of reflection and prayer. The underlying story of Scenes from a Parish deeply concerns who we truly are as a community and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ,” Father Figueroa said.

For more information about, or to order, the Scenes from a Parish Faith-Sharing Edition DVD and Guide from RENEW International, please visit www.renewintl.org/scenes.