This post is more than a little overdue but I was having computer problems over the weekend.
On Saturday afternoon, 7 November, Holy Cross Abbey once again hosted an event to introduce our friends to the film Saving Place, Saving Grace. The event began with a short prayer service, Abbot Robert Barnes presiding, for the healing of the earth. Executive Producer, Deidra Dain, and film maker, George Patterson, once again explained the genesis of the film, their connections to the Abbey and their goals, especially their hope to complete the film for airing on PBS next year.
The first gathering at the Abbey this past August aimed at introducing the interconnectedness of environmental stewardship and monastic spirituality to the local Catholic community. This autumnal event was geared to an ecologically savy audience. Among our guests were Liz Barret Brown, of the Natural Resources Defense Council who was recently instrumental in blocking the Keystone XL Pipeline. From Mexico City, Santiago Lobeira was with us. Santiago is a “ecopreneur”, a professional who helps companies identify shared-value opportunities that are socially and environmentally responsible. Back with us was H. Bruce Rinker, Executive Director of the Valley Conservation Council–and long-time friend of the Abbey. Winkie McKay Smith, whom George Patterson describes as the Queen of Conservation Easement in our County, also attended as well as–from the arts–Ron Heath and musician/composer Maddie MacNeil. Onofrio Castiglia covered the event for the Winchester Star and published a very fine article (Monday, November 9, 2015) on the film and its goals, on the film makers and the monastic community’s dedication to environmental sustainability. It was a delight to speak to such a well-informed young man. Several of our Lay Cistercians helped host the event.
This film-in-progress remains, in George Patterson’s words, a way “to keep this place as it is”. And he’s committed to do just that. How does this film help the Abbey? It raises our profile as it raises awareness of the values that drive us and the crucial issues at hand. It ties us the rest of humanity and our obligation to God’s creation. It makes known better our way of life and it’s witness to our society, inviting others, new members, to share our vocation.
If you haven’t yet contributed to the film, however you can–no contribution is too small!–or if you know foundations or other sources of funding, please contact us.