The Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary are featured in the upcoming movie “The Mighty Macs,” an inspirational true story about a small, women’s college basketball team that defies all odds and achieves victory.
“We gave the sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary final approval of the script,” said director Tim Chambers.
“So in many ways, they collaborated with us to tell a story that just had a values-based infrastructure.”
“The Mighty Macs” is based on the true story of the early 1970s women’s basketball team at Immaculata College in Philadelphia. The small all-women’s Catholic college seemed to have no hope at competing for a national championship. But led by coach Cathy Rush, the women on the team learned that they could overcome all obstacles and achieve their dream.
Immaculate Heart of Mary sisters run Immaculata College and are portrayed as major characters in the film.
“The Mighty Macs” won awards at several film festivals, including the International Family Film Festival and the John Paul II International Film Festival. It opens in theaters across America on Oct. 21.
“I think it was important for us to give kids today a choice,” said Chambers in an Oct. 14 media interview before the premiere of the movie.
He explained that he wanted to make an inspiring sports film for girls but wanted it to be a movie for all ages. The film was given a “G” rating by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Chambers added that he tried “not to be too preachy” with the film because he thought people would not respond well if the movie came across as a “sermon of sorts.”
Instead, he explained that he focused on making a movie that was “faith friendly” and “family friendly,” in which the message was portrayed by the characters’ actions.
“For me as a Catholic, I’d rather people evaluate me on how I act rather than what I say,” he said.
Theresa Shank Grentz, an original member of the winning Mighty Mac’s basketball team, said that the story of the Mighty Macs was overshadowed by God’s guidance.
“There was a lot of Divine Providence from the beginning,” she said.
Grentz said that the members of the Mighty Macs still maintain a close friendship. She attributes this to the fact that they built a “virtuous friendship” during their days at Immaculata College.
“A virtuous friendship is built upon the cardinal virtues of prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude,” she said. “That is going to last. And that’s what happened here.”
“We made each other better.”
She also spoke about the influence of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary during her college years.
“They were a big part of our lives,” she said. “They formed us.”
Sister Marian William Hoben, an Immaculate Heart of Mary sister, taught at Immaculata College for 44 years, including during the Mighty Macs’ glory days in the 1970s.
The 88-year-old sister praised the movie.
“I can’t think of anybody that wouldn’t gain something from it,” she said. “I think that is such a great movie.”