In the grand Hollywood tradition of finding star power to headline a movie, the Knights of Columbus has clearly found a leading lady in Mother Teresa.
Its recently released documentary, “Mother Teresa: No Greater Love,” chronicles the life of St. Teresa of Calcutta and the work of her Missionaries of Charity. Despite its short two-day run in theaters (Oct. 3-4), the film finished second at the box office in America for that week, earning more than $1.2 million.
“We have been producing documentaries since 2005, but we never experienced anything like this,” David Naglieri, director and producer of the film, told Our Sunday Visitor. “I credit the authenticity of Mother Teresa and the sisters of Missionaries of Charity. The visuals of the Missionaries of Charity and the people they are ministering to are refreshing stories that bring hope and renewal and this moves the heart.”
The documentary, which was produced by the Knights of Columbus, is returning to theaters with encore showings around the country on Nov. 2-3 with the addition of a Spanish-dubbed version. The documentary will debut in the United Kingdom, Canada and Brazil on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 with further international distribution anticipated, Naglieri told Our Sunday Visitor.
The film features commentary from prominent Catholics, including Patrick E. Kelly, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus; Bishop Robert Barron of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota, who is founder of the Catholic media apostolate Word on Fire; Jim Wahlberg, filmmaker and author; and Fr. Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of Mother Teresa’s cause for canonization and author of three books on Mother Teresa.
Father Kolodiejchuk told Our Sunday Visitor that St. Mother Teresa has attained remarkable status in the 25 years since her passing.
“Not since Francis of Assisi have we had someone who has gone beyond the Church” in such wide influence and recognition,” Father Kolodiejchuk said. “Post 1997, kids hardly remember what a world figure she was. Along with St. John Paul II and St. Maximilian Kolbe, she was a great saint of the 20th century.”
To say that Father Kolodiejchuk is a fan of the film he co-produced is an understatement.
“I have seen the film 11 times, all 1 hour and 50 minutes of it,” he said. “The film is complete. It covers her whole life up to canonization and beyond.
“For the ones who remember her, it would remind and inspire us. For the Missionaries of Charity, who late in Mother’s life didn’t see her personally, it shows them firsthand what her life was about. I recall meeting a novice nun recently, who said to me, ‘If I was in the world, I would want to join after seeing the film.’ That is rather extraordinary. To look at what the sisters do and the ordinary work, like feeding babies, but ordinary work with extraordinary love. It’s the love that gives the work its meaning. I would hope most people would see the film and then ask themselves, ‘What can I do? What small things can I do with that kind of love.'”
Naglieri concluded, “I think the film can change your life.”
For a complete list of theater locations and showtimes, visit the Fathom Events website.
Joseph R. LaPlante writes from Rhode Island