Dec 8, 2012 / 06:06 am
In a Dec. 6 article for the Wall Street Journal, Jesuit priest Father Mark Henninger recounted his time with famed director Alfred Hitchcock towards the end of his life.
In 1980, Fr. Henninger was invited by his friend Father Tom Sullivan to visit Hitchcock’s house in Bel Air, Calif. one afternoon to say Mass there.
Recalling his introduction to the director that day, Fr. Henninger said that “Hitchcock awoke, looked up and kissed (Father) Tom’s hand, thanking him.”
The priest noted that seeing scripts from Hitchcock’s films, such as “North by Northwest,” created a distraction for him as he said Mass in the study.
“Hitchcock had been away from the church for some time, and he answered the responses in Latin the old way,” Fr. Henninger remembered.
“But the most remarkable sight was that after receiving communion, he silently cried, tears rolling down his huge cheeks.”
Fr. Henninger continued to visit the Hitchcocks until Alfred’s death on April 29 of that year. He reflected on how remarkable it was that Hitchcock let himself be pursued by God at the end of his life.
Something “whispered in his heart,” he wrote, “and the visits answered a profound human desire, a real human need.”
Fr. Henninger’s story in the Wall Street Journal comes as a biopic on the director, “Hitchcock,” is in theaters after a limited release on Nov. 23. …
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