February 18, 2010.
On the south side of Lawrence Massachusetts stands St. Patrick’s Church a church dealing with the changing face of its flock and the focus of a new documentary.
“A community can change very very quickly.”
The film directed by James Rutenbeck follows Father Paul O’Brien, a young priest on a mission to unite the church’s devoted Irish-American parishioners and the growing immigrant community.
Father O’Brien’s faces an uphill battle, especially after he decides to offer mass in both English and Spanish. Some even resent him for it.
But he continues his efforts to build a stronger united community mainly through different church initiatives including the construction of a restaurant style meal center.
“Scenes from Parish” exposes a scene that is playing out at many Catholic Churches across the U.S.
“Immigration hasn’t ended its been going on for decades and one reason or another still coming in the numbers.”
Rutenbeck documented the lives of Father O’Brien and 9 parishioners from different backgrounds with different perspectives over the span of 4 years.
But Rutenbeck says he hopes the audience walks away with a greater sense of the common humanity people share.
The cameras capture raw emotion….
"God was speaking to many people here."
Capture progress and capture a snapshot of a real challenge that extends far beyond the walls of St. Patrick’s Church in Lawrence Massachusetts.