Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/10/2013 (2177 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
JUDITH Flett had already flown halfway around the world 10 times to Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, which has become a pilgrimage spot for Catholics because of various Virgin Mary sightings.
So getting on a plane one more time to fly from St. Theresa Point First Nation, where she lives, to Winnipeg was a piece of cake.
Flett was one of about 1,000 people who took in the Winnipeg première of The Triumph, billed as a "spiritual blockbuster" about Medjugorje and its meaning to people. The documentary was shown at a private screening Saturday morning at Kildonan Place Cinema.
Originally, only 250 people were expected. When those numbers began to swell, the cinema agreed to open more theatres. The Saturday morning crowd, with adult tickets going for $12, ended up filling four theatres.
The documentary, by American filmmaker Sean Bloomfield, is about his own disbelieving journey to the site and his conversion. Bloomfield was just 20 at the time. He ended up returning and making the documentary, which is now being privately screened around the world, including Australia, South America and North America.
The film is sponsored in Canada by the Ave Maria Centre of Peace in Toronto. It's a non-profit, charitable organization devoted to spreading the messages of the Queen of Peace, as Mary is called, and the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Flett, who attended the première with her husband of 43 years, Douglas, and an adult daughter, Angela Wood, heaved a big sigh when asked what she thought of the documentary. "Awesome!" she said.
"It just touched me," she said. The film encapsulates the pilgrimage to the site, which is "about finding peace within yourself," she said.
Her daughter has been to Medjugorje only once but would like to return. "It lightened my spirit," she said.
Flett and her husband were not the only ones attending from Ste. Theresa Point. A small contingent made the trek, as did people from other First Nations.
Several in attendance, such as Rosina Prusina, are originally from the Medjugorje area.
"I believe it," she said of the Virgin Mary sightings. The site became famous when six girls apparently saw the Virgin Mary on a hill in the small village. One of those girls, now grown, is part of the documentary. More than 30 million people have made the pilgrimage to Medjugorje.
Before the site became famous, Prusina said, "my mother always said there was something on that hill."
Her one complaint is others don't have a chance to see the documentary.
A volunteer organizer said there will be more showings, but did not know when. She advised people to watch for information, particularly from the Ave Maria Centre.
Bill Redekop has been covering rural issues since 2001.