Local director showing film on Franciscan order’s work

| June 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

The film “Outcasts” on the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal will pre-screen at All Saints in Lakeville June 13. Courtesy/Grassroots Films

Franciscan Friars of the Renewal don’t flinch in the face of the destitute. Daily, the friars serve the ill, homeless, prisoners and prostitutes in poor and dangerous areas.

A intimate view of this life is given in the not-yet-released documentary “Outcasts.” All Saints in Lakeville will host a prescreening of the film 7 p.m. June 13, which shows the friars serving the marginalized in the New York, as well as Ireland, England and Honduras.

The film, which is aimed at mature audiences ages 14 and over, provides a real look at mercy in action.

“We want to just show exactly how strong the faith is in real situations,” said Clifford Azize, an All Saints parishioner and the film’s director.

Azize, a New York native, knew the friar’s work firsthand after living at their St. Francis House in Brooklyn for troubled young men. As a 15-year-old in Queens, he met the friars through a Youth 2000 retreat he attended for his confirmation; months later, he was living at the St. Francis House.

Franciscan Father Benedict Groeschel, who founded the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in 1987, started the St. Francis House in 1967 and ran it until turning its leadership over to Joseph Campo, a Third Order Franciscan.

Azize, 37, said the home helped him and its seven other residents get an education, become responsible in basic daily tasks and live together peacefully.

Campo’s fundraising responsibilities for the home led him to consider making a book about it. Instead, the young men said he should make a film. That idea led them to form Grassroots Films in 2006, which produced “Outcasts.”

“It was a big thank you; it was from all the guys from the St. Francis House who started Grassroots Films,” Azize said of the film. The self-taught group has produced multiple documentaries, including “The Human Experience” in 2008.

In “Outcasts,” Azize said he “wanted to show the Church how I see her,” which includes the friars’ courage in reaching the marginalized.

“We captured life on the go,” Azize said. “There is nothing set up. Everything that they’re [the audience] going to watch is real, even though the situations that they’re seeing aren’t cases that happen every day, but they do happen.”

Beyond the friars helping society’s outcasts, Azize hopes the film conveys the “message of family.” He said the struggles of all the people in the film are rooted in a lack of religious guidance and healthy parenting, something Azize and his former housemates recognized in their own lives. He calls that the “silent story” in the film.

In 2013, Azize moved to Lakeville, the hometown of his wife, Chelsey, to raise their family. With the help of All Saints associate pastor Father Marcus Milless, Azize organized a pre-screening of “Outcasts” at All Saints in order to raise awareness of chemical addiction and human trafficking.

A question and answer session with Azize and a Franciscan friar will follow the event.

View the trailer below. Reminder: the content is for mature audiences




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Category: Faith and Culture, Featured