What makes Catholic School Movies so great?

Saoirse Ronan and Beanie Feldstein in "Lady Bird" (image via A24) Saoirse Ronan and Beanie Feldstein in "Lady Bird" (image via A24)     

As someone who never attended Catholic grammar or high school, I am not exactly the most qualified to break down what makes a Catholic school movie great. Then again, I rarely let qualifications get in the way of my opinions.


A few weeks ago, Ciaran Freeman, a former O’Hare fellow at America and member of the "Jesuitical" team wrote the definitive ranking of the 10 greatest Catholic school movies of all time. As you might expect, people had a lot of strong feelings about the ranking, good and bad.

One person who is much, much more qualified than me to discuss the rankings is Hunter Harris. Hunter is a staff writer at Vulture, an alumna of Catholic education and a Catholic school movie savant. We talk about the quirks of “Superstar,” the staying power of “Doubt” and why “Lady Bird” is the greatest Catholic school film of all time.

In Signs of the Times, we preview the upcoming German “synodal journey” and the Vatican’s ongoing dialogue with German bishops. We also look at what one bishop is doing with church resources to help fight climate change and heed Pope Francis’ advice to pray for politicians in our “Being Frank” segment.

Links from the show:

The 10 Greatest Catholic School Movies of All Time
Reader Rebuttal: The 10 Greatest Catholic School Movies of All Time
Greta Gerwig’s ‘Lady Bird’ is a rallying cry for Catholic schoolgirls everywhere
Hunter Harris at Vulture
Remember your politicians in prayer, pope says
Vatican officials offer guidance for German church ‘synodal journey’
UK Catholic bishop converts Church’s own medieval estate to wildlife sanctuary

What’s on tap?

Pinot Grigio

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Maria Alderson
1 month ago

Great job guys. I'm so glad you appreciate Ladybird! I loved it too. Remember "IT'S THE TITULAR ROLE"? Priceless.

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