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Fr. Damien (St. Damien) Documentary Trailer - Damien Making a Difference, God Making A Saint

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Published on Oct 11, 2009

***Award winning Documentary - Official selection at the 2010 Honolulu Film Festival - Gold Kahuna Award and Award of Merit in Filmmaking from The Accolade Competition. Documentary on the life of Fr. Damien de Veuster, canonized a saint, October 11, 2009 by the Catholic Church.
The film is a story of Damien of Molokai, a priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts, told through his own words, narration, and commentary.

SHORT SYNOPSIS
At the age of 33, Fr. Damien de Veuster was sent to Molokai to serve the people suffering from Hansen's Disease (leprosy). When he arrived, the people living in the leper colony lacked all basic necessities and lived in fear---immorality and lawlessness being the norm. Fr. Damien came to live among them, becoming a voice to the outside world, ministering to the people, providing food, shelter, love, hope and faith. This story is told through Damien's own words taken from his writings in letters and journals. Members of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, of which Damien was a member, provide refection, showing how the touch of God was evident throughout Damien's life from the very beginning.

LONG SYNOPSIS
The touch of God is the heroic sanctity that transforms impossible situations. With it comes gifts and blessings, as well as suffering and the cross. Damien de Veuster's life is an example of how his total gift of self brought the touch of God to what seemed like an impossible situation. Leprosy is a chronic bacterial disease that causes permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes when left untreated. An effective treatment was not established until the 1930's. Leprosy had come to the Sandwich Islands (now known as the Hawaiian Islands) through trading ships at the ports around 1840. Hawaii was isolated and the locals had not built up an immunity to it. It became an epidemic and an establishment was set up in Kalawao to quarantine those suffering from the disease. The people were taken away from their families and were isolated in the settlement. The government didn't care if they lived or died. Those forced to leave their home and start again in Kalawao, lacked all basic necessities and were expected to fend for themselves. There was no where for them to live, no food for them to eat, no medical care, and no law. At the age of 33, Damien, a priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, was sent to minister to these people. He built homes and churches, provided basic medical care, built an aqueduct, and fought the government for clothing, supplies, and livestock. Fr. Damien brought faith to the community, teaching about Perpetual Adoration, Eternal Life, and Eucharist. This film reflects on the story of Fr. Damien and how the touch of God was evident from the beginning of his life, though his call to belong to the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts, the circumstances of being sent to the Sandwich Islands prior to his ordination, his call to Molokai, his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, his loneliness on the island, and his total gift of self that led to him contracting the disease and die from it. The film combines narration and commentary with Fr. Damien's own words, taken from journal writings and letters. This heart wrenching true story is about one man's total abandonment of things of the world so he could live for Christ. His total gift of self enabled the touch of God to work through him, bringing hope to the hopeless. The reflections of the members of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, provide explanations of Damien's religious practices and terminology, as well as to show specifically how the touch of God was evident throughout his life from the very beginning.

ATTRIBUTIONS
Damiens transcribed writings made available to the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts USA West in the book, Damien of Molokai through his letters by Osvaldo Aparicio

Photos and artwork provided courtesy of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts—Hawaii Archives, Congregation of the Sacred Hearts USA West, Congregation of the Sacred Hearts Leuven, Damiaan Center & Museum Leuven, SS CC Archives Rome, and SS.CC. Picpus

Photo of Pope Benedict XVI taken by Agencia Brazil
For more information or to make a donation to receive a copy of the documentary, contact
SS.CC. USA WEST PROVINCIAL OFFICE
PO BOX 668
San Dimas, CA 91773
(909)593-5441
ssccwest@cpl.net

FILM CREDITS
a film written by JENNIFER HOGE and STEPHANY REH featuring TOM WILSON MIKE LAPONIS FR. MICHAEL BARRY, SS.CC. FR. MARTIN OLOGHLEN, SS.CC FR. JOHN ROCHE, SS.CC.
Produced by THE CONGREGATION OF THE SACRED HEARTS OF JESUS AND MARY AND PERPETUAL ADORATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT OF THE ALTAR SECULAR BRANCH USA WEST
Edited and directed by JENNIFER HOGE in association with PREMIER IMAGE PRODUCTIONS, LLC

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