Tuesday, 28 February 2012

BBC Four's 'Catholics' part two

As the first programme in the series 'Catholics' produced such a flurry of comment I thought all might appreciate a reminder to watch part two.

Due to be screened at 9pm Thursday 1st March, the second instalment looks at children and, specifically, how they prepare to make their First Holy Communion.

Here is what the Beeb blurb says about it:

Episode image for Children
'Show me the child of seven and I'll show you the man', goes the Jesuit proverb. Award-winning documentary filmmaker Richard Alwyn observes the truth of the saying in this film about children becoming Catholic.
Filmed throughout Lent and into summer 2011, it focuses on the children of St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School in Chipping, Lancashire. The tiny rural school has 33 pupils, six of whom are preparing to make their First Holy Communion.
Alwyn's lyrical, poignant film observes the essence of Catholicism being distilled into young children. Encouraged to celebrate the riches of the natural world and to remember those less fortunate than themselves, the children are also required to reflect on Christ's brutal death and resurrection. Occasionally, this graphic story of suffering might seem to threaten the children's infectious charm and innocence.
The local parish priest, Fr Anthony Grimshaw, now in his 70s, has a strong presence in the children's lives. To the younger ones he's the avuncular character who comes into school to read Winnie the Pooh. To the older ones, he is more 'on message', talking with them about faith and fielding questions about his belief in the existence of Satan in this world.
Around this observation of the Catholic life of the children and the school is the story of a handful of its pupils, aged seven and eight, preparing for their First Holy Communion. Here, the children are introduced to the bewildering mystery at the heart of the Catholic faith - when they believe bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
This beautiful film is full of the spirit of childhood and shows how being Catholic is a complex identity that can bring both agony and ecstasy."

Many year ago I knew Chipping, it has or had an excellent pub, The Dog and Partridge, so that element of nostalgia will add a little touch of zest to my viewing.

I will keep an open mind as to what sort of feast will be spread out for us but I am mentally reserving a bet as to how it will unfold.

That part of Lancashire is rich in Catholic Reformation history and we owe much to those men and women who gave their lives so readily.
I hope and pray that the content of the programme reflects their sacrifice as well as the Supreme one.

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