Film Financed by Knights to Debut at Eucharistic Congress

6/2/2008

Canada’s Salt and Light Television Network has produced a new documentary that will premiere during the International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City.

Road of Hope: The Spiritual Journey of Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan  was made possible by a special grant from the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council.

Cardinal Nguyen Xavier Van Thuan (1928-2002) was named archbishop of Saigon in 1975, just a few months before the city fell to the communist Viet Cong. He was jailed by the new government and spent 13 years in a “re-education” camp, nine of them in solitary confinement.

The film highlights how the Eucharist sustained him during his imprisonment.

Archbishop Van Thuan was freed Nov. 21, 1988, and sent into exile. Pope John Paul II appointed him president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and he was made a cardinal Feb. 21, 2001.

Cardinal Van Thuan dedicated the final years of his life to traveling the world with his message of hope and forgiveness, and to organizing the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, his life’s crowning achievement, which was completed after his death. He died of cancer on Sept. 16, 2002, in a clinic in Rome.

Producer David Naglieri and the Salt and Light production team worked closely with Elizabeth Wong, the late cardinal’s sister who lives in Windsor, Ont., and Cardinal Renato Martino, current president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

The production team was granted unprecedented access to Van Thuan family photo albums, videos, letters and personal items of the late cardinal, including the original Vietnamese copy of his book The Road of Hope and the items he used to celebrate Mass in prison.

The film features extensive interviews with members of Van Thuan’s family, his biographer André van Chau, Cardinal Martino, Roman Curia officials and other close acquaintances who worked with the late cardinal.