Tuesday, May 16


Catherine the Valiant

ND's student-run Orestes Brownson Council, as part of its continuing mission to promote and restore Catholic culture and the arts, recently put on a fun little play about Catherine of Siena, the 1931 Catherine the Valiant by the Rev. Urban Nagle, OP. The whole thing started out, really, as a sort of joke. Shrine friend Michael had a long-standing running joke about doing Catherine: The Musical, and the more we joked about it, the more real it got, even if it was all a bit of a joke. Michael finally ditched the music, remembered he had drama experience (sort of), and found a real script to work with. With the assistance of Michael's roommate as director and the Sober Sophomore as our fearless stage manageress, we finally got the show on the road, and just in time. The results were fun, a little melodramatic but not without edification, and the little theater was packed on two of the three nights, and well-attended the other time, especially in light of the fact it was semester's end. The arts, when properly ordered, are vital expressions of the human soul, and can provide great comfort and inspiration to the faithful. I hope that everyone who watched came away from our production with just a little bit better sense of the sacrifices made by this great saint. And now, some photos from the production, courtesy of alert freshman Kimberly Stoddard.

Hothead Cardinal de Montalais (Victor Saenz) and the clever Cardinal Lagier (Robert DeBroeck) scheme in the papal antechamber.

Mother Catherine (Joanna Emilian) confronts her archenemy, the nefarious Cardinal Flandrin (Joseph Jaskierney).

The Pope (Jon Buttaci), weak but well-intended, is moved by the good saint's entreaties to return to the Eternal City.

The cardinals find they're losing traction with the Supreme Pontiff.

An a-moral warrior bent on conquering Italy, the Duke of Anjou,(Ian McDole) and his ally, Countess Ursina Sforza (Elise Wetzel) want Catherine out of Avignon. Or else.

The cardinals enlist the Pope's ailing father, the Count de Beaufort (Matthew Alderman) to shame the Pontiff into staying.

Catherine tries to reach out to the old man.

Our two romantic leads, Catherine's ward Margherita (Morgan Cullen) and her would-be crusader Count Vincenzo (Joey Caudle), try to reunite after a tragic misstep on Vincenzo's part.

Anjou disarms Vincenzo and tries to make him his prisoner.

And lastly, with the lovers reunited, the papacy saved and Anjou rendered powerless, Margherita and Mother Catherine share a quiet word about life.

"Mother Catherine," says the young girl, enthralled to have her sweet Vincenzo back, "have you ever been in love?"

"Margherita mia," replies the saint, with the crucifix behind her, "I have always been in love!"


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