Film Treatment

Mother Teresa once said that poverty in the west is "so much more difficult to remove" than that of other societies because our poverty is "loneliness, unwantedness, and not being loved." She said, "A person that is shut out, that feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the person that has been thrown out from society... that poverty is so much." A walk down the streets of any American city highlights this poverty. One sees the hungry and homeless, poor and hopeless, begging on street corners, side by side with society's well-off and elite. One sees the spiritually impoverished who move blindly and unceasingly from workday to workday without giving a thought to a deeper meaning in their lives. These men and women from all walks of life are out of touch with God's daily activity in their lives, in all matters, large and small.

By contrast, in these very same communities, women in religious vocations such as the Missionaries of Charity, the Sisters of Life and the Congregation of Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal in Harlem, Manhattan and the Bronx, New York, embody the mystery, beauty, joy and peace of a life devoted to God and their fellow man. In a world of emptiness, anxiety and isolation, they are sister and mother to all those they encounter - not only the materially poor, but also the spiritually lost.

In our 7-minute film, Women of Mystery, Women of Hope, we show the sisters in an ordinary day as they live out their extraordinary call from God. Following each of the orders as they live out their unique charism, we depict three tangible ways these women touch those they serve: through evangelization and outreach to the poor and homeless with food, shelter, and companionship; with support and resources for young pregnant women overwhelmed with the struggles of motherhood; and through a community of love and support for the volunteers who work with them.

Women of Mystery, Women of Hope poetically and gracefully captures a multitude of beautiful and stirring moments of the Sisters' ministries as they serve all of us - the poor, the lost, the unloved and the unwanted. Viewers come to appreciate the Sister's ability to transform lives and mend souls through their prayers and actions. This is the calling that each of these women has: to fulfill her role as mother and sister in each of our lives, whether we have met her or not.