“Faith of our Fathers” from EWTN Ireland tells the story of a Catholic Priest hiding in fear of the austere laws of the Penal times in Ireland, and the whole community’s efforts to shelter him as he ministers through the hedge schools and Mass Rock to strengthen the faith of the people.
The film, EWTN Ireland says, juxtaposes the strong and unyielding faith of Irish people during Penal times, compared to the trend towards indifference in modern day.
Faith of Our Fathers, a fugitive priest in Penal times in Ireland. On the run, harboured by his flock. In danger.— EWTN IRELAND (@ewtnireland) May 3, 2023
Produced by St Brigid media, Preview showing at the prestigious Santa Croce Conference in Rome this week @dromantine @ArchbishopEamon @DownandConnor @DerryYouth pic.twitter.com/4ECkggZ5Qr
"We decided to create this particular piece because it has so many contemporary correlations and relationships to the modern day," EWTN Ireland director Aidan Gallagher recently told EWTN News Nightly.
The penal laws, introduced in the late 17th century, made it illegal for Catholics to celebrate mass and outlawed the Irish language, while they also barred Catholics from public office.
"Faith of Our Fathers," which was filmed at the Dromantine Retreat and Conference Centre outside Newry, Co Down, was screened at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome on May 2.
Gallagher revealed that people from a number of countries, including India, Pakistan, and UAE attended the screening, giving their feedback after the film.
"So many people stepped forward to say, ‘This movie may be set in the penal times many hundred years ago in Ireland but we are still experiencing this in our country today,'" Gallagher said.
Gallagher sent a letter to Pope Francis a month before the screening asking him to bless the film, explaining that a blessing from the Pope would help the film's success and the spreading of Catholicism around the world.
Pope Francis gave Gallagher a blessing after a general audience on May 3.
"It was a very blessed occasion for me personally, and for the whole mission of EWTN Ireland."
You can watch Aidan Gallagher's interview with EWTN here: