Jesuit Filmmaker Honored for 'Posada'; Documentary Airs Dec. 4
By Kaitlyn Warter
Class of 2009
Father Mark McGregor, S.J., a Gonzaga University Jesuit priest, received the Best Short Documentary award Oct. 12 from the Second Orlando Hispanic Film Festival for “Posada,” a 55-minute documentary about unaccompanied immigrant youth that he wrote, directed and produced.
Rev. Mark McGregor, S.J., and Amalia Molina, author of “The Power of Love: El Poder del Amor."
The documentary will be shown at Gonzaga at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 4 as part of the University’s Catholicism in the New Millennium Series.
Fr. McGregor tells the stories of true unaccompanied immigrant children, comparing their journeys to a traditional Christmas procession called Las Posadas. Translated into English, posada means “shelter.” In addition to this recent award, “Posada”had been awarded the Prize for Human Rights and Religion by 2007 Religion Today International Film Festival in Trent, Italy.
“Posada’s” featured youth are Johny Figueroa, Densi Diaz and Wilber Garcia. It also features Amalia Molina, author of “The Power of Love: El Poder del Amor. “Among the film’s experts and advocates, is its narrator, Javier Stauring, a Human Rights Watch honoree and co-director of the Office of Restorative Justice for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
This fall, McGregor also kicked off a national faith-based project that promotes the Catholic Church’s campaign for immigration reform and the local celebrations of Las Posadas across the United States. The initiative is called the Posadas Project.
“The project’s overall goal is to help motivate millions of people to participate in Las Posadas this December,” said Rev. McGregor. He added, “The project also affirms America’s heritage as refuge for immigrants and refugees.”
The La Raza Latina student group at Gonzaga and University Ministry invite all Zags to take part in Gonzaga's very first celebration of Las Posadas beginning at 9:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 7 at St. Aloysius Church on the GU campus. A procession will lead into the 10 p.m. Student Mass.
A grant from Our Sunday Visitor has allowed the Posadas Project to partner in six Catholic dioceses by providing a DVD of “Posada” Web-based resources through the project’s official Web site and financial support to put on and promote regional celebrations of Las Posadas. The dioceses include: Spokane, Yakima, Seattle, Chicago, San Jose, Calif., and Beaumont, Texas.
The project also partners with six recognized organizations that work with Latino and immigrants populations. These include: The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC); The Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonio; La Red – the National Directors of Hispanic Youth Ministry; The Instituto Cultural y Liderazgo del Medioeste of South Bend, Ind.; Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights and Trabajo Cultural Caminante, both based in California.
Rev. McGregor, S.J. and his family moved to the Northwest in 1976. He entered the Jesuits in 1984 and graduated from Gonzaga in 1988. In August he returned to Gonzaga to work in University Ministry and the communication arts department. In a capacity near and dear to his heart, Father McGregor also serves as advisor to Gonzaga's Student Film Club. In March, he will lead Gonzaga students on a trip to Washington, D.C. for the National Teach-In on Immigration for Jesuit high schools and universities.
He produced “Posada”with students and production assistance from Fairfield University, where he taught from 2003-07. Its post-production was overseen by Loyola Productions, Inc. In 2007, Fr. McGregor was awarded a fellowship from Santa Clara University and a Bronze Telly Award for “Posada.”
For more information, contact Rev. Mark McGregor, S.J. at (509) 313- 4239, or via e-mail.