Silence

This Sunday we celebrate the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. Do you remember why Zechariah had been struck dumb?They made signs to his father to find out what he wanted him called. You remember why Zechariah had been struck dumb? The beginning of Luke’s Gospel tells the story. Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were exemplary people, living a good and holy life in the hill-country of Judea. They would have liked to have had children but had not been able to do so. They still prayed for a...
Andrew Garfield (centre) on BBC One's Graham Norton Show
Andrew Garfield, currently starring as a 17th century Jesuit missionary in the Martin Scorsese film Silence, has been talking about his experience of undertaking a silent retreat at St Beuno’s Spirituality Centre in North Wales. The actor was guest on the Graham Norton Show on BBC One on Friday, alongside Annette Bening, Harriet Harman and Asa Butterfield .Part of the preparation for playing Jesuit priests in the film, Garfield explained, was for fellow actor Adam Driver and himself to...
Dr Gemma Simmonds CJ with Fr Provincial, former General Nicolás and Fr Michael Holman SJ at Heythrop College
Yesterday’s radio airwaves had no shortage of participants from the British Province. On BBC Radio 2, Fr Damian Howard SJ was Clare Balding’s guest on Good Morning Sunday. He had been invited as a guest onto the programme to talk about Martin Scorsese’s film Silence, about 17th century Jesuit missionaries in Japan.Meanwhile, on BBC Radio Wales, Roy Jenkins’ award-winning programme All Things Considered was given over to Sr Gemma Simmonds CJ of Heythrop College,...
A composite image of Thomas More and Edmund Campion SJ  facing each other
The Martin Scorcese film Silence now on general release. It highlights a time in the Church’s life in Japan when many Christians were martyred for their Christian faith. Jesuit priests and Catholic men and women were tortured in the hope that they would deny their faith in Christ and in His Body, the Church. It might seem very remote from our own time and experience and yet, today, we hear extraordinary stories of Christians in the Middle East, of Jesuits and Christian men and women,...
The new Martin Scorsese movie Silence goes on general release in UK cinemas today.It tells the story of Jesuit missionaries risking their lives to bring the Word of God to a persecuted Christian minority in seventeenth century Japan, and doing so explores the nature of faith, doubt and redemption.In a recent edition of Jesuits & Friends Jonathan Wright explained the role Jesuits played in early-modern Japan:It fell to Francis Xavier to inaugurate the Jesuits’ Japanese adventure....
Still from 'Silence'
Director: Martin ScorseseStarring: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Yôsuke Kubozuka, Issei OgataCertificate: 15Running time: 161 minsUK release date: 1 January 2017In Martin Scorsese’s introduction to a special edition of Shūsaku Endō’s Silence[i], he claims that the novel ‘is precisely about the particular and the general. And it is finally about the first overwhelming the second.’That’s an interesting lens through which to interpret the story of two 17th century Jesuit priests who...
Still from 'Silence'
Martin Scorsese’s ‘passion project’, Silence, based on the novel by Shūsako Endō, has been in the making for some twenty years. The story of Jesuit missionaries in Japan is rich with questions and Ignatian themes – Frances Murphy suggests what viewers should look out for when the film comes to UK cinemas on 1 January. Shūsako Endō’s novel, Silence, tells the story of two 17th century Portuguese Jesuit missionaries in Japan in search of the truth about what happened to their much-admired...