Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tonight at the Oscars - Mother Dolores Hart: God is Bigger than Elvis

Mother Dolores Hart whistles approvingly of a parody that had been sung about her.  

Mother Dolores Hart, seen above in a photo I took of her at the 2009 Lenten Symposium by Holy Trinity Apostolate, will be at the Oscars tonight.  It's about a documentary on her life on HBO called, "God is the Bigger Elvis".  [You can see many more pictures of Mother Dolores Hart in my photogallery for the 2009 event]

Vatican Radio, on the documentary:

When Hollywood roles out the red carpet on Sunday for this year’s Academy Awards, those watching will expect to see actors and actresses such as George Clooney and Meryl Streep being caught by the flashbulbs.

But there is someone else who will also will taking part in this high profile event that many won’t be expecting to see, that is Mother Dolores Hart, a cloistered nun who now lives a life of contemplation at the Regina Laudis Benedictine monastery in Bethlehem, Connecticut.

Mother Dolores left behind a successful stage and screen career in Hollywood in the 1960’s to become a nun after starring alongside leading men such as Elvis Presley (Loving You 1957), and Anthony Quinn (Wild is the Wind” 1957). She also starred in the film about Francis of Assisi (1961), in which she played a nun.

So what brings this Prioress of a cloistered monastery to the awards? She is in fact the subject of an Oscar nominated short documentary entitled, “God Is the Bigger Elvis” produced by HBO. The thirty eight minute film charts her life and that of her fellow nuns at the Abbey, which also has a working farm and a theatre.

Explaining how the project came about, she told Lydia O’Kane that she was told by the late Archbishop Pietro Sambi that she must make a film about consecrated life. Recalling Archbishop Sambi’s words, Mother Dolores said that he told her “ it is important for the church that you make this film”. She goes on to say that she didn’t know how she would accomplish this, but just two days later HBO rang her and asked her if she would be interested in making a short documentary.

Speaking about her vocation, Mother Dolores said it was something she felt she had to do, “anyone who has ever been in love knows what it is to do what you have to do”.
Mother Dolores who attended the Academy awards three times during her Hollywood career and is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Science says attending the event will probably be an emotional experience. “I think there will be nothing at all like it when I go, Ithink it will be completely new”.

She adds that she wants to bring home to her sisters at the monastery a true reality of life that will give them joy and a reason to pray for the work of the film industry. Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s interview with Mother Dolores Hart (Go to Vatican Radio for audio)

Asked if she will go to the Oscars for the event, this article at New York Daily News reports:

I was invited to go and I said, “No I couldn’t do that,” because of my situation. But the mother abbess [of Regina Laudis\] considered it and said she thought I should because of the continuity of the mission [to portray what contemplative life is like\]. So I will go.

God bless her.

I don't get into the Oscars, Grammys or other award shows in the past, and as time has gone on, I have distanced myself even more.  Sexual immorality is now the new "virtue" and you can't hardly turn the TV on and not be confronted with promotion of adultery, fornication, and sodomy.  These are all biblical concerns, and a part of my deeply held religious convictions.  What sickens me the most is that you can't even sit down to watch a G-Rated program for children without sexual innuendoes intended, supposedly, for the adults in the audience and presumed to go over the head of adults.  No thanks.  I won't give them a dime or the time of day.

With that, I hope the presence of Mother Dolores Hart adds some dignity to the Oscars this year.  I will set my DVR so I can fast forward to the heart of the show (pun intended).

Further Reading:

And, I would like to remind readers that Holy Trinity Apostolates 2012 Lenten Symposium is coming up on March 10.  Cardinal Burke will be among the speakers.

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