When I think of most Christian movies, I think of the kind that Dr. Nicolosi mentioned; poorly made, cheaply produced, cheesy films that do their best to inspire but fall short. Fatima was none of these things. I was immediately blown away by the quality of Fatima and was genuinely excited to watch the movie. I was excited because it was a Christian movie that was made well, and that is very rare, as mentioned, but also because I was going to learn a lot about this apparition. Growing up Catholic I learned about the saints, sacraments, and Bible teachings in school. One thing I never spent time learning about was the Marian apparitions. This spring speaker series was a perfect opportunity for me to finally dive into that part of my faith, and after attending the events I can happily say I have grown in my understanding and appreciation immensely. The Fatima movie night provided me with a fun opportunity to learn, appreciate cinema and invite my friends into Christ-centered activities on a Friday night. Similarly, Dr. Nicolosi’s talk allowed me to gain a greater sense of appreciation for her work in Hollywood while also giving me an excuse to invite those close to me to Newman. Friends and family who would not otherwise watch or attend Newman events were very eager to hear from Dr. Barbara, and I was told by many they were really impacted by what she had to say.
I’m very thankful for the time and talent Dr. Nicolosi dedicated to both the Fatima movie and her speaking event at the Newman Center. I am a more emboldened Catholic because of it and have a new direction for prayer now too (pray for Hollywood Catholics, people!)
One final huge thanks to Dr. Nicolosi; your work and spirit in Hollywood are important, and we are praying for you!
- Hannah Dake
Dr. Nicolosi is originally from Portsmouth, Rhode Island. She has a B.A from the Great Books program at Magdalene College in Warner, New Hampshire, a Master’s degree in Film and Television from Northwestern University, and went on to receive her PhD in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University in the United Kingdom. She is the founder of Act One, which is a non-profit organization that trains and mentors Christians who are preparing for a career as writers or producers in Hollywood. She was the writer of the 2020 film, Fatima, and the executive producer of Cosmic Orgins, Judgemental Moose, In Memory, and Ask J. She also worked on Mel Gibson’s 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ. Currently, she is a professor of Media and Visual Arts at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
For more information and to view her talk, "Bringing the Fatima Story to the Big Screen: Reflections of a Hollywood Catholic", that took place at the Newman Center on April 6th, please visit the "Speakers" tab.
Beginning on May 13, 1917, in Fatima, Portugal, Mary appeared six times to three children; Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco. While many believed the children when they shared what they saw, many were skeptical. At this time, the world was in the midst of World War I and in desperate need of peace. Our Lady came to spread the message of praying the rosary daily and doing penance in order to bring peace to the world and an end to the war. During her last apparition in Fatima on October 13, 1917, over 70,000 people witnessed the "miracle of the sun" and came to believe. Now, Our Lady of Fatima is one of the most well-known Marian apparitions in history and is widely believed to be true within the Church.
For today’s blog post we will reflect on Mary as Our Lady of Sorrows. This is a title that many are probably familiar with, but don’t fully know or understand. The title ‘Our Lady of Sorrows’ has many variations, such as ‘Mother of Sorrows’ or ‘Our Lady of the Seven Dolours’. All these titles refer to Mary’s role as a suffering mother of Christ and the church. Mary’s is commonly depicted in artwork with Seven Swords piercing her suffering heart, with each sword representing the sorrows in her life. These Seven Sorrows are as follows: