Bronze statue by Suzanne Silvercruys, in the National Statuary Hall Collection, Washington, D.C.
I have found the Catholic film buffs on t’Internet. Smashing. I am advised by an authoritative Sister to investigate Mission to Glory, the True Story of Father Kino. And so I will. My advisor let me know that the star of the film Richard Egan, was a devout Catholic, who had a brother who was a Jesuit priest and who stayed married to his wife Patricia Hardy for nearly thirty years until his death. Why does seem so surprising in these harsh days?
Here is the spoiler. The film is the story of the Italian missionary and Jesuit priest Father Kino (or Kühn), 1645-1711, who tried to protect the Native American people from the dispossession, slavery and slaughter of the conquistadors. He ensured the implementation of a royal decree that exempted converted Indians from hard labour in the mines and from the payment of tribute. He established 24 missions and chapels during his sojourn in the Pimería Alta in what are now Mexico and Arizona. He trained the local people in agriculture, carpentry and iron-working and introduced cattle and European crops and was called Arizona’s first rancher. A writer on religion, he was also an explorer and accomplished astronomer, mathematician and cartographer.