All Saints: articles

TV would like to believe we're all saints

I have to admit I've never liked All Saints. Like it's stable-mate Blue Heelers: the plots are at once simplistic and unbelievable, the acting over-dramatic, the cinematography unimaginative and the lighting and sets apallingly cheap.

So despite all the awards, I dismissed All Saints as having nothing much to say about the human condition.

But when my mother-in-law died in the local Roman Catholic-run hospice recently, it changed my perspective.

The nuns were as caring and as modern as depicted on All Saints. But there was one big difference. Jesus, God and heaven seemed to come up a lot in conversation. Some, like the Sister who headed the pastoral care work, enthusiastically talked about the gospel. And later admitted to us that what my mother-in-law had said about the assurance of God's grace had greatly encouraged her personal faith in Jesus.

But others like some of the volunteer pastoral workers were more like lost souls themselves, searching the wards for an answer to, "Why all this death?" So what strikes me first about All Saints is how silent the program is about God and eternity. This did not match-up with what I saw in the hospice.

But what this does is to point out once again the safe stereotype Australians prefer to have about Christians.

Australian's prefer that their TV tells them that, "To be a Christian is simply to do good. And that because we are all basically good, we are 'all saints' who deserve God's favour." It is a lot less threatening to leave it there and not try to answer the hard questions.

By Jeremy Halcrow
Southern Cross Online - Culture Watch

Georgie Parker

What's it like playing a nun?

The season return of All Saints, saw one man's desire for revenge catapult the hospital into chaos. A bomb explodes, leaving the medical centre resembling a war zone. Terri Sullivan (Georgie Parker) led the team of nurses and doctors as they treated victims. Later, she risks her life in order to save others' lives from another bomb.

"I wanted to avoid looking like an action hero," said Georgie about playing Terri in such a dramatic scene.

Terri, a nun, demonstrates her commitment to serving God through her hospital work as a Nursing Unit Manager. "I treat people how I would want them to treat me," Terri says to a patient.

She practices Christian love by attending to Rob Biletsky, whose presence is bitterly resented by other staff. He questions her actions when she stops one woman from attacking him.

"I think Terri is a really charming person, she is very considered but she is extremely loyal and trustworthy," said Georgie.

Georgie says that in researching for the role she spoke to one sister "who was incredibly helpful." She says it opened her eyes, discovering that nuns are "vibrant people who have opinions, who dedicate their life to one purpose."

While Georgie, a former Abbotsleigh student, admits she has nothing in common with the nun Terri, she remembers that her former headmistress led by example and accepted people for who they are. Georgie said she tried to apply this value to her own life.

By Carolyn Cash
Southern Cross Online - Culture Watch