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Making “The Miracle Club”: How a Catholic Hollywood Director Integrated Faith in a Lourdes-Based Film

Catholic Hollywood director Thaddeus O’Sullivan recently sat down with ChurchPOP English editor Jacqueline Burkepile to discuss his latest film, “The Miracle Club.”

The film starring Kathy Bates, Maggie Smith, Agnes O’Casey, and Laura Linney follows Irish Catholic women in various stages of life who take a pilgrimage to Lourdes looking for a miracle.

O’Sullivan gives Burkepile a behind-the-scenes look at what happened on set, how they created the Lourdes-based movie set, how his Catholic roots impacted the film’s creation, and what he hopes his Catholic audience will take from it.

The Hollywood director says the movie’s creators hired him to direct because of his Irish heritage. However, as an Irish Catholic, O’Sullivan says his faith helped him accurately depict Catholicism throughout the film.

“My Catholic upbringing informed everything I did,” he says. “I was able to deal with things because I had experience as a Catholic.”

He also provides a little history of his own Catholic upbringing.

“I grew up on Lourdes water. It was on the doorway as you go out, and there was always a bottle,” O’Sullivan says. “My mother religiously [placed] little drops in [the Holy Water font], especially on Sundays.”

O’Sullivan also remembers his parents regularly taking his family on pilgrimages to the Knock Shrine in Ireland.

“We went on pilgrimages to Knock,” he says. “My parents would stick us in the back of the car –all three of us. (…) [It was] a four-hour drive. I’m talking about the 50s, and so that’s a long drive! We would be praying the rosary on the way down and on the way back.”

As for what he hopes Catholic viewers take from the film, O’Sullivan says he “had so much Catholic instruction” that he can talk “in terms of how the film talks, which is “spirituality, reconciliation, and shaking guilt off.”

Here’s the full interview below:

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Here’s the trailer below:

Click here if you cannot see the video above.

Viewer warning/disclaimer: One scene in the film discusses abortion. Viewer discretion is advised.

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