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Enduring Faith DVD: The story of Native American Catholics


A wide-ranging survey of the interaction between the indigenous peoples of the New World and the Catholic Church is provided in the informative documentary “Enduring Faith: The Story of Native American Catholicism.”

Narrated by actor Larry Omaha, the movie reaches back to the Age of Exploration to examine the impact the Catholic faith has had on Native people from Mexico northward to Canada. It also celebrates the contributions their dedication has made to the church.

Filmmakers David Naglieri and Tim Moriarty examine the varied attitudes displayed by colonists from Spain, France and Britain. Catholic newcomers from the first two countries tended to have a greater interest in evangelizing indigenous North Americans, a fact which also led them to treat those they sought to convert with greater dignity than did the British.

The film highlights the work of the Franciscan, Dominican and Jesuit orders in bringing the Gospel to the Western Hemisphere. It also showcases the trailblazing role played by such individual missionaries as the indefatigable Flemish-born Jesuit Father Pierre-Jean De Smet (1801-1873).

The signal victory in winning native souls for Christ was, of course, achieved by Our Lady of Guadalupe whose appearances in 1531, together with her miraculous image, were the catalyst for mass adherence to the faith. Her legacy and contemporary significance as a patroness of the new evangelization are discussed by, among others, former Supreme Knight Carl Anderson.