|Actress Meryl Streep meets an authentic Sister of Charity of New York – Sr. Marilda Joseph Aeillo whose entire religious life was dedicated to The New York Foundling, founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1869.
The drama Doubt is being released in December 2008 as a major motion picture. It tells the
story of two Catholic religious sisters whose clothing (habits) identifies them as Sisters of
Charity of New York. To help you understand the Sisters of Charity both then and now, we
have prepared some material. We hope you will find it useful. Much of the movie was filmed at
Mount Saint Vincent (in the Riverdale section of the Bronx), which has been the spiritual and
administrative home of the Sisters of Charity of New York since 1857.
John Patrick Shanley, who wrote the play, also wrote the screenplay and directed the film.
He received his elementary education from the Sisters of Charity at St. Anthony School on
Mansion Street in the Bronx. He based the character of Sr. James, the younger Sister in his
drama, on Sr. Margaret McEntee, SC, who was known as Sr. Marita James when she was
his first grade teacher.
|John Patrick Shanley with his first grade teacher, Sr. Margaret McEntee, SC, during a break in filming.
Shanley dedicated his play “to the many orders of Catholic nuns who devoted their lives to
serving others in hospitals, schools and retirement homes. Though they have been much
maligned and ridiculed, who among us has been so generous?” The film is dedicated
particularly to Sr. Margaret McEntee, SC.
Doubt began as a one-act play off-Broadway in November 2004 and transferred to Broadway
itself four months later. During the 2005 award season, Doubt: A Parable won the Pulitzer
Prize for Drama, the Tony Award for Best Play, and three other major theatrical awards.
Those who have previewed the movie predict nominations for leading actors Meryl Streep,
Philip Seymour Hoffman and Viola Davis.
|Amy Adams with the inspiration for the role she plays, Sr. James.
A Story of Dedicated Women Religious
The film’s release is a unique opportunity for Sisters of Charity and all women religious to tell
their stories – stories about life in the 1960s, when Doubt takes place, and now, when women
religious are engaged in a wide range of activities.
The Sisters of Charity are happy to share information about their lives of love and service– especially as educators – their mission of Charity, their passion for the poor, and their
expression of spirituality and community.
We welcome your questions. If you would like to arrange interviews with our Sisters, please
contact our Communications Director: Christine M. Haggerty,
firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-549-9200 x 245