File photo of Sister Maria Rosa Leggol File photo of Sister Maria Rosa Leggol  #SistersProject

'With This Light' set for US premiere to highlight story of 'Mother Teresa of Honduras'

A documentary film entitled 'With This Light' premieres in US theatres this weekend and focuses on the life and legacy of Sister Maria Rosa Leggol, sometimes called the 'Mother Teresa of Honduras,' who helped nearly 90,000 Honduran children escape from poverty and abuse.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

"With This Light" will premier in theatres in five major US cities this weekend.

The documentary film, entitled "With This Light," about the life and legacy of Sister Maria Rosa Leggol is set to debut in theatres on 11 August in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, New Orleans and Houston, and will be released in Video on Demand on 15 August.

Several Vatican officials and members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See attended a private screening in the Vatican last year.

The late Sister Leggol's legacy lives on in Honduras. Initially, Sister Maria Rosa opened her first orphanage in 1964, and founded the non-profit organization Sociedad Amigos de los Niños (SAN) in 1966. As time went on, she would build over 500 homes across Latin America.

Sister Maria Rosa applied a holistic approach, impacting the lives of these children by creating jobs for their relatives and communities through a variety of visionary entrepreneurial and educational programs, as well as bringing healthcare to them through clinics and medical brigades.

Sister Maria Rosa Leggol
Sister Maria Rosa Leggol

She did not let dictatorships, military coups, or natural disasters disrupt her plans. Sister Leggol passed away at age 93 in October 2020 after contracting Covid-19. 

A private screening of the documentary was organized in 2022 by the Embassy of Honduras and L’Osservatore Romano’s Spanish edition. The screening was followed by a panel discussion including Jessica Sorowitz, the executive producer of the documentary, and the film’s co-directors, Ms. Nicole Bernardi-Reis and Ms. Laura Bermúdez.

Uncovering hidden goodness

Sr. Rose Pacatte, a member of the Daughters of St. Paul, and founding Director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Los Angeles, spoke to Sr. Bernadette Reis in the Vatican, and expressed that while she learned of the groundbreaking nun more recently, that upon seeing the film, and "meeting her" there, she was moved to see her in action. 

"I'm overwhelmed," she said, "with the goodness that there is in the world and that I can still discover that through film"

She said it makes her ponder all the good taking place across the world that we are not aware of, including in the United States.

“If you loved Mother Teresa and the good that she did, you will love this nun.”

Sister Rosa, said Sr. Pacatte, "did very bold things that we can laugh at now, but at the time that took a lot of moxie, courage and conviction."

"She had the courage of her convictions and, oh, you just love her," Sr. Pacatte said.

Life of faith, hope, charity

From the film, Sr. Pacatte observed, "you can see she lived life, faith, hope and charity to a heroic degree."

“She shows us that we too, in our everyday lives, take our ordinary circumstances, and run with it, to bring Jesus to the world.”

To learn more, and follow the latest updates, visit the film's official website

Sister Maria Rosa Leggol's cause has been opened at the diocesan level and is moving toward beatification.

Article updated on 12 August 2023 to include additional US cities where the film premiered

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10 August 2023, 09:41