Before the screening, Mary Larrosa, historian and member of the Teresian Association, presented relevant aspects of the historical context.
Given the testimonies and discussions held after the screening, we can say that the film and the narrative of the life of St. Pedro Poveda reached the hearts of young seminarians. Being able to see the sanctity of a diocesan priest and his ability to read and dialogue with reality from the perspective of the Gospel were elements of identification with their vocation.
Discovering in the film, along with a deep identification with Pedro Poveda priest, his creativity and tenacity to respond to the problems of his time was something that had resonance for the seminarians. They were able to see that there are points in common with some of the current challenges of Uruguay. A country that experienced an early process of secularization (early twentieth century) that permeated the whole society, making it one of the most secularized of America. The film moves viewers to witness to their faith clearly, to make a careful reading of reality and to cultivate an attitude of service with a dialoguing capacity
The song "I was only an instrument," which is sung often at this seminary with the lyrics changed to: "I want to be an instrument ..." has, after this encounter with the life of St. Pedro Poveda, a new meaning and depth ...
We share some of the testimonies collected after the screening.
Guzmán González (Seminarian of the Diocese of Salto):
I did not know Pedro Poveda until I saw this movie. I can only say are few words because I could not describe the courage, passion, commitment, and love that characterized his life. What struck me and brought me to prayer was the way he planted the seeds of the Word into the one who took him as prisoner and initially treated him with so much hate [Felipe, the militiaman]. I think the light that shines with more intensity and constancy is the light of the Tabernacle; he knew how to imitate that light and bring it everywhere, even to places where there was no hope, he brought it education and gave an opportunity to great fighters and entrepreneurs. His bravery, courage, joy, and faith are virtues to imitate.
Fernando Spillere (Seminarian of the Diocese of Salto):
I would like to share my experience after seeing the movie "Poveda," a film that reflects the life of a person, the witness of a holy man, a man of God. He always knew how to be in his place obeying authorities, and the film reflects this very well showing him as a faithful servant of the Church, although he felt that God was asking of him something great; he understood that human beings do not move fast enough for answers, and knew how to live this with patience. This surely is something that does not leave you indifferent; the spirit moves you and gives you hope, the hope to know that man can reach very high levels of holiness in all circumstances.
Emiliano García (Seminarian of the Diocese of San José):
I knew nothing about the life of Pedro Poveda nor his work, only his name. As the film progressed I noticed increasingly and more clearly that I was contemplating the life of a man of God, consecrated to the Church in the proclamation of the Gospel and in the service of the poorest and most helpless. I thank God to know this witness of generous dedication of a priest of Christ who sought no other reward but to live according to the will of God, humbling himself and serving with joy and dedication. He was recognized and he encouraged me in my commitment to follow Jesus every day in the seminary and invited me to give of myself with more fidelity and truth, being open to further challenges and trusting in Divine Providence.
Fr. Daniel Bazzano (Faculty, Archdiocese of Montevideo):
The film achieves the goal of locating, for the benefit of the viewer, Father Poveda in his historical context in a lucid manner. Thus one can see the various dimensions and consequences of his proposal and action.
The advancement of women within a society that is quite resistant to it is made clear. Education is the grand strategy for this advancement and, at the same time, their "empowerment," as it is known today, for women to realize this project institutionally. And indeed, the theme of sensitivity to the marginalized, symbolized in the commitment of this saint to the people of Las Cuevas.
In conclusion, thanks to the film, one can see exactly how Father Poveda generated at the ecclesial level an evangelical response to very specific needs of the Spanish society of his time, achieving an effective institutional expression to fulfil his objectives.