Free films explore lives of monks and clergy

Angels With Dirty Faces 12

MOUNT ANGEL, Ore. – A four-month educational film series at Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary offers a look at the monks, nuns and clergy who have dedicated their life to God.

Movies will be shown in the library auditorium on the second Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. and the fourth Saturday of the month at 2 p.m. The library is located at Mount Angel Abbey. All movies are free.
“Of Gods and Men” will be shown February 11 at 6:30 p.m. Loosely based on the life of the Cistercian monks of Tibhirine in Algeria, from 1993 until their kidnapping in 1996, the film tells the story of eight French Christian monks who live in harmony with their Muslim brothers. When a crew of foreign workers is massacred by an Islamic fundamentalist group, fear sweeps through the region. The army offers them protection, but the monks refuse. Should they leave? Despite the growing menace in their midst, they slowly realize they have no choice but to stay, come what may.
The film premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Grand Prix, the festival’s second most prestigious award.
“Angels with Dirty Faces” will be shown February 28 at 2 p.m. Rocky Sullivan (James Cagney) and Jerry Connolly (Pat O’Brien) are childhood friends who robbed a railroad car as kids. Rocky saved Jerry’s life during the chase by pulling him out of the way of a steam train while fleeing from guards. Rocky was captured by the police, while Jerry, who could run faster, escaped. After being sent to reform school, Rocky grows up to become a notorious gangster, while Jerry becomes a priest. When Rocky returns to his old neighborhood, where Jerry is the parish priest, he becomes a hero to a group of teenage boys. Father Jerry tries to keep the kids on the straight and narrow. (Humphrey Bogart plays a crooked lawyer in the film.)
The film series celebrates the Year of Consecrated Life, put forward by Pope Francis in honor of the lifelong devotion of men and women who dedicate their lives to God as members of religious orders, living as monks, nuns, clergy or hermits. Whether they are cloistered, contemplative or engaged in active ministry, their consecration allows them to follow Christ with greater liberty.
Mount Angel Abbey Library, where the movies will be shown, was designed by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, whose minimalist, organic architectural masterpieces can be found around the world. The building was designed into the hillside, and light streaming through the cone-shaped skylight plays off the interior space.
Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary are located on the hilltop above the town of Mt. Angel. For more information about the event, call 503-845-3303 or email


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