"I did exactly what the church asked me--and now, the church is looking at me like, where have you come from...who are you?" says Sister Nancy Sylvester, IHM (Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary), in Band of Sisters about the remarkable transformation of Catholic nuns in the United States since Vatican II of the 1960s, and the reaction of some members of the church hierarchy who oppose their changes. Perhaps more than any other group, U.S. nuns embraced Vatican II's call to serve where there was the greatest need.
In Band of Sisters, two nuns advocate for the rights of immigrant detainees and deportees in and around a Chicago-area deportation center. It is 50 years since Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council to let a little fresh air into the church, and most Catholic nuns in the U.S. have never looked back. Fascinating scenes of convent life prior to Vatican II contrast with those of nuns in the tumultuous and exciting years after the Council, when sisters became engaged with the great social movements of our day.
Adeptly illuminating the path from direct service to social justice to the transformation of consciousness, Band of Sisters travels with sisters who continue their mission as organic farmers, environmental attorneys, peace activists, holistic health care practitioners, podcasters, and more. With poignancy, drama, and humor, the film fosters well-deserved recognition for its engaging characters and the thousands of sisters like them.
In the face of obstacles and threats cast by government agencies, the military, and the hierarchy of their own church, the forward-thinking U.S. nuns are on a mission of love, and it appears that nothing can stop them.
A film that show the sisters as they are, Band of Sisters is a deeply-moving story of inspiration and hope for people of all faiths.