Jan 18

All or Nothing: Sr Clare Crockett
(A documentary, 2017, 85 Minutes. Available on YouTube.)

Sr. Clare Theresa Crockett died in an earthquake on 16 April 2016 at age 33 while working as a missionary among the poor in a remote village in Ecuador. She was a most unlikely candidate to join a convent, something she herself, as a young girl, could not think of. Born and brought up in a happy, nominally Catholic family in Londonderry, one of the most violent towns in Northern Ireland, Clare loved music, trained in theater and dreamed of a career in Hollywood for which she was eminently suited. Her ebullient spirit earned her the nickname “Live wire.” She used to declare that she wanted to be famous. She did act in a movie.

But at age seventeen, the feisty girl had a change of heart that stunned everyone. She decided to be a nun. Her family begged her to give up the idea. But Clare was the kind of person who would have “all or nothing.” “Neither success, nor fame, nor human love could fill me. I knew that only by doing what God wanted me could I be truly happy.”  She did everything in her life with a complete devotion and enthusiasm. Giving up the comforts of a normal secular Irish family was not easy. But she took to the rigours of her convent life with the same enthusiasm, joviality and infectious humour which made her popular among her fellow nuns, colleagues and the children she taught. Some time before the fatal earthquake she said that she would also die young like the Lord whom she loved deeply. And it came true when she and three postulants whom he was teaching music were crushed to death in the earthquake.

The film was made mostly out of photos and candid video footages of Clare, from her early childhood onwards and interviews with people who knew her closely. The movie radiates the infectious joyfulness of one who gave her life in loving sacrifice to Christ.

 The Young Messiah
Director:  Cyrus Nowraste. Cast: Sean Bean, David Bradley, Lee Boardman, Jonathan Bailey, David Burke. (2016, 111 minutes)

 Based on Anne Rice’s novel, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, the film presents a fictional life of boy Jesus during his Egyptian exile and return to Nazareth on the death of Herod. The episodes are entirely unbiblical but its presentation is consistent with the Gospel view of Christ. It opens with Jesus in Alexandria. While playing with his friends, Jesus is attacked by a bully named Eleazer. But Lucifer trips Eleazer over, causing his death, for which Jesus is blamed. People turn against Jesus. Mary saves her son from the crowd. His cousins, who had seen him bring life to a dead bird before, ask him to do the same to Eleazer. Jesus sneaks into Eleazer’s house and brings him back to life. However, the resurrected boy only attacks him ungratefully. The boy’s parents want the Holy Family to leave the town. Joseph announces his intention to leave for the homeland. They are bound for Nazareth, accompanied by uncle Cleophas, who gets extremely sick. Jesus heals him. This miracle becomes widely known. Herod’s successor sends a Roman Centurion to find and kill Jesus because he believes that the boy will be a threat to his throne. Both Lucifer and the soldiers are now after Jesus to kill him. Joseph and family hide in a cave to escape the hunters. But Jesus steals out of the cave and travels to Jerusalem with the help of some pilgrims. In the Temple, he meets a blind Rabbi, from whom he comes to know his past history. He grows in awareness of his mission. He heals the Rabbi. The news of this healing spreads like wildfire. It leads the Centurion to Jesus. But he is unable to lay hands on Christ, because he is in the centre of a large crowd eagerly listening to his words. The Centurion is awed by the meeting. He returns to tell the king that he has found Jesus and killed him. Thus Jesus is spared and he returns to Nazareth with his parents to a normal life. The movie presents a suspenseful story line and presents young Jesus beginning to show signs of the Messiah in the making.

Dr Gigy Joseph

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