Batavia Parish Slates Sept. 29 Screening of ‘The Divine Plan’
Film tells story of St. John Paul II and President Reagan
September 19, 2019
BATAVIA—Holy Cross Parish here will host a pre-screening of the documentary “The Divine Plan: Reagan, John Paul II and the end of the Cold War.”
 
The free screening will be at 5 p.m., Sept. 29, at Rosary High School, 901 N. Edgelawn Dr. in Aurora.
 
Director Robert Orlando will be there to introduce the film and host a question and answer session afterward.
 
The film is based on a book by Paul Kengor, “A Pope and a President” and is not scheduled for wide release until Nov.9.
 
The parish will be distributing tickets beginning Sept. 21 and continue through Sept. 27.
 
Anyone who would like a ticket may call the parish office at 630-879-4750 or Laura Kosmach at 630-845-1384 to reserve a seat.
 
Catholic News Service reported the film and book explore the “deep spiritual bond” between the pontiff and President Ronald Reagan. 
 
While the two world leaders didn’t share the same religious faith — Reagan was a Protestant — they did “share the same moral convictions that led them to confront atheistic communism,” say the authors.
 
Senior White House officials viewed the film on June 21 with leaders of various faith groups and nonprofit organizations as well as community leaders to commemorate the 40th anniversary of St. John Paul II’s first pilgrimage to Poland.
 
The White House Domestic Policy Council and Office of Public Liaison hosted a policy discussion surrounding current parallels between the film and  past and present events in communist and socialist countries.
 
In a statement, Joe Grogan, director of the Domestic Policy Council, said Reagan and St. John Paul had a “remarkable partnership.”
 
“These two great leaders brought about the historic collapse of the Soviet Union and the miraculously peaceful end to the Cold War,” he said.
 
As Poland’s native son, St. John Paul II had a special interest and a key role in the demise of European communism. For years he criticized the moral bankruptcy of the system, to applause in the West. 
 
Besides Grogan and Orlando, those attending the screening included Ambassador Callista Gingrich, U.S. ambassador to the Holy See.
 
Gingrich congratulated Orlando on the film. 
 
Reagan first met the pope at the Vatican in 1982, she said. When he returned to the U.S., the president “instructed the U.S. State Department to work closely with the Holy See and ordered the opening of a full-fledged embassy,” she added. 
 
Info: “The Divine Plan” at www.thedivineplanmovie.com. Film trailer at https://vimeo.com/269090891 and on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/thedivineplanmovie.
 
—CNS contributed to this story