Monday Starter: Film about Honduran sister's heroic work with children arrives in theaters

Sr. Maria Rosa Leggol hugs a child in this scene from the film "With This Light," premiering in select theaters this summer.

Sr. Maria Rosa Leggol hugs a child in this scene from the film "With This Light," premiering in select theaters this summer. The film highlights the Franciscan sister's work with children abandoned or in peril in her native Honduras. (Courtesy of Miraflores Films). 

Editor's note: Global Sisters Report's Monday Starter is a feature from GSR staff writers that rounds up news from or about women religious that you may otherwise have missed.  

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It may not break summer blockbuster records, but the film "With This Light," about an orphan who became a Franciscan sister and made it her life's mission to help other orphans in her native Honduras, may melt hearts.

The playful, feisty and passionate character of Franciscan Sr. Maria Rosa Leggol comes across in the film's trailer, showing her saying, 'I believe that to work with God, you have to be a little naughty, a little bit crazy."

The trailer shows off Leggol's larger-than-life personality: watching a soccer match, getting hugs as she describes the difficult and unending work she took on in her native Honduras,, and establishing centers to provide housing, education and health care for orphans and abused children.

It also shows her independent spirit.

"I am not obedient, my orders come from above," she says in the trailer. "The man who can order me around has not been born. Sorry."

Another clip from the film shows her surrounded by media, saying she cannot be happy, nor proud of her work, until children no longer suffer.

Marquette University recognized Leggol in 2009 with an honorary degree for her centers named Sociedad Amigos de los Niños (Society of Friends of Children). It's that work that is front and center in the film.

Leggol, who did her novitiate with the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee, cared for Honduran children for more than 70 years; some are featured in the film asking what their lives would have been like without her. She died in 2020 at 93 in her native country after contracting the coronavirus.

The film is scheduled for screenings in New York, Los Angeles and New York in August, and the filmmakers are taking requests here to host screenings.

Good Samaritan Sisters looking for good writers

The Sisters of the Good Samaritan are accepting entries for a writing contest that offers a top prize of $600. The catch? It's open only to writers from Australia, Kiribati, the Philippines and Japan — territories where the Sisters of the Good Samaritan serve.

Those interested can look at the sisters e-journal called "The Good Oil" to see the range of topics their website publishes. The contest's theme this year is "Finding my Voice" and can include personal reflections, opinion, as well as news features 800 to 1,200 words to be published in "The Good Oil."

Entries will be accepted until Aug. 18, and they must not have been published elsewhere. Writers must be at least 18 to participate and can submit up to three pieces.

Prizes include $400 for second place and $200 for third. Winning entries will be announced in "The Good Oil" as well as the sisters' social media channels Oct. 17. 

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