Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Reading for Conversion and A New "Bells of Nagasaki" Movie

I have been reading A Song for Nagasaki (SFN) to my mom and dad while they eat breakfast and lunch.  We're almost finished.

It's my second effort at communicating Catholicism to them in the most accessible way I know.  My mom converted a couple of years ago while still in the rehab hospital after her stroke; my dad is agnostic.  

First we read The Shadow of His Wings (SHW).  Both books are set during World War II.  This theme as a backdrop is helpful, since they can identify with it well, having both been born in 1933.  It has made it easier to have discussions because of their personal memories of events.

The two books are ideal conversion tools for my dad because of his great respect for education, which is emphasized in both books, and science in particular, which is a main theme in SFN.  It does an excellent job of debunking the idea that science is in conflict with religion, a matter of utmost importance with my dad.  The idea that a truly Catholic priestly formation includes serious study of philosophy and logic and that a priest can be both supremely masculine and celibate, as modeled by Fr. Goldmann in SHW, also got my dad's attention.

My mother thoroughly enjoyed SHW, often excitedly interjecting some comment that I guess could be considered as the equivalent of an "Amen!".  Father Goldmann's many escapes from death, but especially any mention of Sister Solana May's interventions, elicited these responses from her.  With SFN, she is entranced by Dr. Nagai's wife, Midori, and fretted about what had happened to her after the A-bomb was dropped.  Midori is an excellent role model for Catholic wives, and I think her way of handling difficulties was a revelation to my mom.

The fact that a movie was made in 1950, based on Takashi Nagai's Bells for Nagasaki, was mentioned several times in SFN.  This sent me scurrying to the internet to see if I could find it.  I will have to look again, because in my search results was the exciting news that a new movie is being released in English, based on Bells for Nagasaki.  The UK release date is Nov. 15, and it is called, All that Remains.  Here is a page about the filmmakers and a promo video of the film. I couldn't find any information on when it will be available in the US.


Emily said...

I have not read either of those books. I ordered both of them from the library tonight.

I like the approach you are using with your parents. My mother-in-law seems a hopeless case as far as conversion is concerned. We pray, but without hope, I fear. I wonder if we chose a book carefully if she might read's a lot of ifs, but it's an idea to ponder.

Wendy Haught said...

I hope you enjoy the books!

Choosing a book for your mil is worth a try, I think. I will be glad to make suggestions if you tell me a little bit about her. Just email me if you want to pursue it.