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ABC to air film on response of New Orleans women religious to Katrina
Catholic News Service

CINCINNATI — ABC affiliates will air an hourlong documentary on the response of women religious in New Orleans to the devastation wrought by 2005's Hurricane Katrina on select Sundays between Sept. 23 and Nov. 18.

"We Shall Not Be Moved: The Catholic Sisters of New Orleans" was made available to ABC affiliates from the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission as part of ABC's four-part "Vision and Values" series for 2012-13. A listing of broadcasts can be found at www.interfaithbroadcasting.com.

The film project was coordinated and led by SC Ministry Foundation in Cincinnati, which organized the fundraising effort to make the documentary. Funders represent the Assembly of Catholic Foundations and other Catholic foundations and congregations of women religious.

The documentary "elevates the program from the level of a "Katrina brick-and-mortar rebuilding chronicle' to a complex and fascinating journey with women religious who faced an uncertain personal and public future," said a statement from Sister Judith Ann Zielinski, a Sister of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio, who wrote and produced "We Shall Not Be Moved."

"Their choices were not uniform, simple or immediate," said Sister Judith Ann, who is with NewGroup Media in South Bend, Ind. "However, all six congregations, with an average of 175 years of combined service to New Orleans, reconfirmed their commitment to the city and its people."

The longest-serving community profiled is the Ursuline Sisters, who have been in New Orleans since 1727; the "newest" is the Teresian Sisters, in New Orleans since 1915. Other orders featured in the documentary and the first year they arrived in the city are the Carmelites (1835), the Sisters of the Holy Family (1842), the Marianites of Holy Cross (1849) and the Congregation of St. Joseph (1854).

The orders lost ministries to Katrina's fury, including high schools, child development centers, community centers and a nursing home in which 17 elderly patients died waiting to be rescued. Yet each order overcame obstacles to repair or rebuild their facilities.

"People will be uplifted by these inspirational stories," said a statement from Sister Sally Duffy, a Sister of Charity, who is executive producer of the documentary.

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