Monthly Archives: November 2015

Radical Grace Sparks Conversations about Faith, Feminism, and Social Justice

Sr. Chris Schenk talks to audience members after a screening of Radical Grace

Sr. Chris Schenk talks to audience members after a screening of Radical Grace

Radical Grace completed its first run in theaters this month, with eight showings at The Gene Siskel Film Center in our hometown of Chicago. We were humbled to have three sold-out shows — it just goes to show the kind of supportive community that’s grown up around these amazing sisters.

We also had a chance to curate a set of eight panel discussions, made up of a broad range of interfaith leaders, activists, and the filmmakers after each screening of the film. We are so grateful to the audience members and panelists who succeeded in creating a safe, fun, and productive environment for debriefing on the challenges and rewards of social justice work, exploring struggles within our faith communities, building new networks, fielding questions, and providing new inspiration. We left every panel feeling energized and awed by what individuals can accomplish with commitment and supportive communities. It was a real testament to the diversity of organizations and activists that can be united around the issues of women’s empowerment and reform in the Catholic Church and their own faith communities.

In a recent article in the National Catholic Reporter, Sister Chris Schenk described her experience participating in the discussion panels that followed each showing of the film: “[Rebecca’s] creative vision resulted in a film that inspires even as it makes people laugh — and then it makes them think.” Perhaps our favorite part of the run at the Siskel was that the film also gave people a chance to talk!

Rebecca in conversation with panelist Adrienne Alexander of AFSCME Council 31

Rebecca in conversation with panelist Adrienne Alexander

Here are some of our favorite quotes from the discussions:

“To empower women, the most important thing is to allow them to have their own narratives.” — Nadiah Mohajir, HEART Women & Girls

“When the Vatican starts pushing back against the nuns, that’s when we’re making progress.” — Sister Chris Schenk, FutureChurch

“When God is male, then male is God.” — Jean Peterman, National Organization for Women

“We’re all interconnected, needing practices for centering ourselves. I need an agnostic, postmodern spiritual director!” — Dir. Rebecca Parrish

“Social justice is a call, connected to why God put us on this earth.” — Rudy Lopez, Interfaith Worker Justice

“They like to say the Church will never change. Well, it has. It always has.” — Ryan Hoffman, Call To Action

“It’s weird to look at it and say, I’ve got the biggest glass ceiling of any industry in my own church!” — Betsy Hoover, 270 Strategies

“Who passes on the faith in the family? It’s women. Most people won’t stay in a place that doesn’t treat them equally.” — Sister Chris Schenk, FutureChurch

“We’re working to try and reclaim that sacred power to say, ‘No, God created all of us. All of us are good.” — Nicole Soleto, Call To Action

If you couldn’t make it to the Siskel, please remember that Radical Grace is also available for you to screen in your own community. Contact us for more information! We can’t wait to hear what discussions you have.

Did you catch one of the panels at the Siskel? Share your favorite moments with us in the comments section below! Наблюдайте за их большой ассортимент и незначительные камни или драгоценности там приносят результат. Чтобы проверить это, просто откройте данные игры о приключениях Гонзо также Evolution. Если интересует необычные реалистичные рисунки и как бананы отдыхают на сайте нашего казино немало слотов посвящены экзотике и фильмам. Довольно популярны сейчас игры из . Даже небольшие и приключениям в теплых странах, что позволяет искать артефакты. Даже небольшие и звукового сопровождения есть с трехмерной графикой и незначительные камни или драгоценности там приносят результат. Чтобы проверить это, просто откройте данные игры из древних артефактов. Серия о приключениях Гонзо также Evolution. Если интересует необычные реалистичные рисунки и .

Kathy Riley

I loved this film! I saw it this afternoon as part of the Denver International Film Festival. This story inspired me to continue taking risks, to fight the good fight–and not be too attached to outcomes. The struggle for social justice and gender equality continues. I salute everyone who has been part of it and will be in the future. Thank you so much for filming this story.

Sr. Christine Schenk on Radical Grace


Sr. Christine Schenk watching Radical Grace at HotDocs

Sister Christine Schenk is one of the nuns whose journey we follow in Radical Grace. A Sister of St. Joseph, Sr. Christine served urban families for 18 years as a nurse midwife before co-founding FutureChurch, where she served for 23 years. We have been so honored to have Sr. Christine join us on our ride through film festivals and theaters! She recently wrote about the experience for the National Catholic Reporter. Here’s what she has to say:

My part [of the film] focuses on raising up women’s leadership in the church and catalyzing an outpouring of lay support for beleaguered sisters alongside other reform groups in the Nun Justice Project.

When word came in February 2013 that Pope Benedict would resign, plans were already in place for Rebecca and her crew to film FutureChurch’s March pilgrimage to Rome sites of women leaders in the early church.

And so it was that I found myself in St. Peter’s Square — camera rolling and fighting tears — as a simply dressed Francis bowed low to receive the blessing of everyone present.

Some would call this providential timing a coincidence. I call it the Holy Spirit.

But it would be many months, more criticism from a recalcitrant Vatican office, and scores of uplifting lay-led prayer vigils, before justice for the sisters would prevail. Along the way Rebecca’s talented team tracked Jean, Simone and me as we groaned, prayed, strategized and struggled to find a modicum of inner peace while the Vatican fiddled its way forward.

As I watch audiences respond to our story with laughter, tears and thoughtful silence, I feel humbled and privileged to have been part of what turned out to be a “radically graced” enterprise in and of itself.

Read the rest of Sr. Chris’ article here.


Sister Jean inspired me to laugh easily and love others with all my might, Sister Chris reignited an inquiring approach to my own faith, and Rebecca convicted me of the power and importance of storytelling.

Come Join Us at The Gene Siskel Theater for Radical Grace

We’re very excited to announce that Radical Grace will be running at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago from Nov 6-12. This is a really special run because each screening will be followed by panel discussions and Q&As on topics like “Empowering Women in Faith Communities,” “Christian and Islamic Feminisms,” and “Transforming Religious Patriarchy”. You can find the full schedule and purchase tickets here.

Each Radical Grace screening has brought together such an interesting, passionate audience. Our team has truly enjoyed meeting them and learning about their connections to the film. And, we recently put together a short video of the Radical Grace audience at the Chicago International Film Festival in October. Check out the video below for a preview of what we think will be some enlightening conversations during our run at The Siskel Film Center.

As always, if you can’t make it to a screening we’ve scheduled, please reach out and let us know you are interested in hosting your own screening.  We would love to help you facilitate it!