New Film from Pax et Bonum Communications

I’m VERY excited. This is an announcement I’ve been waiting to send for at least seven years.

Back in 2008 I made three trips to Italy to make a film on the life and spirituality of Saint Francis of Assisi. For me personally, the film was an antidote to all the suffering I had witnessed in the previous eight years while making films on intense poverty in Uganda, Kenya, India, Brazil, Peru, El Salvador, Mexico, and the Philippines. Much of the film was shot during a month-long pilgrimage to Assisi and all the beautiful places in Umbria and Tuscany that played a vital role in the life of St. Francis. I spent most of 2009 writing and editing the film. Before it was finished, my life was interrupted by the disastrous earthquake in Haiti that leveled the capital in January 2010. I was in Port-au-Prince just before the earthquake and immediately afterward. The suffering and carnage I witnessed during the first three months following the earthquake left me crippled by PTSD. Between that and a perfect storm of other events pushed me into a nine-month-long sabbatical, where for the most part I simply sat in stillness and silence. Buried in the aftermath of the events following the earthquake was the Francis film. In January of 2011, with my physical, emotional, and spiritual life renewed, I formed a new ministry dedicated to putting the power of film at the service of the poor. The first film Pax et Bonum Communications produced was Mud Pies & Kites, which fully documented the suffering in Haiti. That was quickly followed by a film in a refugee camp in Kenya, a film featuring a doctor caring for very sick and very poor kids in Peru, a film on the work of Catholic Charities on behalf of the poor here in Los Angeles, and a film featuring the Medical Missionaries of Mary in Honduras.

In the summer of 2014, exhausted from making that string of films, while also giving at least a half dozen presentations a year in schools and churches across the United States, as well as in Europe, I turned my attention to the one project that meant more to me than anything else I’ve ever done before: the Francis film. However, we faced a herculean obstacle which was nearly impossible to overcome. Due to an unfortunate circumstances, the old computer on which we stored the film was accidently erased by my former ministry. All we had as a guide to all the work we had done was two low-resolution DVDs containing part one and part two of the film. In order to make the film, we had to virtually reconstruct it from scratch. That meant we had to sort through over 100 hours of video footage, 20 hours of 8mm film, and over 2,000 still photographs…and match them to the corresponding images on the DVDs. It was like tackling a gigantic film jig-saw puzzle. The only other thing we had from all the work we did in 2009 was the final audio mix containing the music and my narration. But because the music and narration were tied together, we could not alter either.

It has taken a full year to complete the tedious task of reassembling the film. However, there was a hidden blessing in the dark cloud that hovered over us as we began to work on the film. Because we were putting fresh eyes on all the original footage, we discovered many hidden gems. The new film was looking much better than the old version. Moreover, we were able to have the 8mm film retransferred in hi-definition, making it look much better than it originally did. I was also able to integrate hi-definition material from our new poverty films to replace standard definition footage from much older films. The end result is that this is a much, much better film than the one we would have released back in 2010 had circumstances not derailed the project.

Moreover, now in the age of Pope Francis, the story of Saint Francis is more timely than ever before.

Confession: while the five poverty films PetB has produced have been very helpful to the ministries featured in them, they do not sell very well. Each of those films cost us at least $30,000 to make, and they generated very little income to help us continue our work of being a prophetic voice speaking out on behalf of the poor. It is my sincere hope that the Francis film, which is titled The Loneliness and Longing of St. Francis of Assisi, will help generate the income we need to stay afloat. But more than financial resources for the ministry, it is my prayer that the film touches the hearts of viewers and prompts them to emulate the life of Francis in their own way and also prompts them to follow Pope Francis’ wish that we reach out to those living on the “existential peripheries” of our time.

I humbly urge you to visit our web site click on the icon of the cover of the film on the home page which will take you to a clip featuring the first ten minutes of part two of the film and the story of St. Francis’ encounter with the leader of the Muslims. And then visit the page featuring all 22 of our films from my former and present ministry and order The Loneliness and Longing of St. Francis of Assisi. This link will take you directly to the Francis film page on our website:

Please order the film now to help us cover the cost of manufacturing the film. The film will be ready to distribute in just a few days.

Peace and blessings,



2 Responses to “New Film from Pax et Bonum Communications”

  1. 1 theluzfund September 6, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Thanks for the info Gerry.Will order forthwith to add to my collection.
    Can you please contact me at re: a personal appearance.

  2. 2 theluzfund September 6, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Are the films “Spirit of St Francis of Assisi” and “The Loneliness and Longing of St Francis” the same film? I am just a little confused.

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