This summer, I was blessed to be the chaplain for a couple weeks on the set of an upcoming movie by Metanoia Films called Cabrini.  They filmed it in New York State (not NYC.) It is a big-screen-targeted movie on the life of St. Francis Xavier Cabrini and much of it takes place in lower Manhattan around the turn of the century.  The set above is part of the re-creation of Five Points where St. Cabrini served the Italian immigrants of New York City.   (Not that I think anyone should watch Godfather 2, but I believe the set above of Cabrini rivaled that of Coppola’s 1974 movie.)

The director Alejandro Monteverde and the producer Leo Severino also gave me a private showing one weekend of their new movie Sound of Freedom where Jim Caviezel plays Tim Ballard in his international rescue of children caught in child sex-slavery.  Both Cabrini and Sound of Freedom are are written by the talented Catholic screenwriter, Rod Barr.  On set and other places, I got to know him and other great Catholics like Brian Battles, an expert on visual effects.   I was extremely impressed by these faithful Catholics making high-quality movies, especially Monteverde, Severino, Barr, Battles and many others like “Mike RTF.” I’m also very thankful to the great Catholic families who hosted me like the Keglers, Shoemakers and McGuires.

NPR in NY described the upcoming movie:

The life of an Italian immigrant who later founded one of the largest charitable organizations in the world will be captured in a film that includes scenes to be shot in Buffalo beginning next month. Hundreds of people are sought to be hired as paid extras.

The film, Cabrini, will be a biopic of Francesca Saviero Cabrini, who was later known as Frances Xavier Cabrini or simply Mother Cabrini. A Catholic nun, she moved to the United States in 1887 at the urging of Pope Leo XIII to assist the Italian immigrant population, many of whom arrived in the country but lived in poverty…

Cabrini, who was naturalized as a United States citizen in 1909, died in 1917. She was canonized as a saint by Pope Pius XII in 1946, becoming the first U.S. citizen to achieve sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church.

Her movement, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, became the largest known charitable effort in history, according to Rossi.

The film will be set in the Five Points section of New York City. Men, women and children of Italian heritage, or who may look Italian, are sought to play residents and immigrants from that time period. But Rossi adds that some additional parts featuring people who don’t look Italian will also need to be filled. More information on what the producers are seeking and how to apply may be found at Buffalo Film Casting’s website.