By Renée Smith,
Photos: Elmo Griffith
On Saturday, September 22 the Catholic community in Trinidad and Tobago was able to celebrate a 125-year-old legacy for the Catholic Church with the screening of the Catholic News’ short film ‘The Pursuit of Truth @ 125’.
The 40-minute documentary met a full audience at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival held at MovieTowne Plaza, Port of Spain. Among those present were Archbishop Jason Gordon, Vicar for Communications Fr Robert Christo, other members of the clergy and religious as well as past and present contributors of the Catholic News.
Having been featured in the documentary for her contribution to the newspaper since 1972, 96-year-old Sr Marie Thérèse Rétout OP addressed the audience at the end of the film. She expressed how “amazed” she felt that at her age she was able to see the Catholic News reach a 125-year milestone. To this, she was met with a hearty applause.
Sr Marie Thérèse also congratulated the team who brought the production together, giving special commendations to the film’s directors Oyetayo Raymond Ojoade and his wife Sharon Syriac. The production team also included Fr Christo, Denise Scott, Helena Allum and LRS Productions. Other team members who were not present at the showing were Vicar General Martin Sirju, Vice-Rector of the seminary Msgr Cuthbert Alexander, Bishop Clyde Harvey and Lucille Nathu.
Sr Marie Thérèse added, “I did not know it would be something so big to end up at the MovieTowne! I do hope it would bear fruit in the future.”
Some members from the audience described the film as an “excellent presentation”, “it makes me feel proud” and “just wow!”
Peter Telfer of the MAWASI Drum Experience appreciated that the film showed how the Catholic News “covered and uncovered [stories] so a lot us can re-discover the beauty of who we are as Caribbean people”.
When asked how the idea came about for producing a documentary, Denise Scott shared that it began during preparations for the Catholic News Symposium- ‘The pursuit of Truth in the Age of Fake News’. “Priests like Bishop Clyde Harvey, Msgr Cuthbert Alexander and Fr Martin Sirju told many amazing stories of the past during our round-table discussions. They often referenced these stories in relation to Catholic News’ journalism and we felt others should hear these stories as well,” said Scott.
‘The Pursuit of Truth @ 125’ is part one of a two-part documentary. ‘Part One: from 1892 to 1990’ was accepted for the 2018 TT Film Festival. Fr Christo said the team alongside Catholic Media Services (CAMSEL) are exploring creative ways the entire documentary can be shared and kept alive.