Brides of Christ

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That's the way it was with these women. When you called into question everything they stood for, when you spat, complained and argued, they returned love. I was surrounded by strong, luminous women intent on doing good. - Diana


Brides of Christ is a 1991 ABC Australian miniseries set in a convent and a Catholic girls boarding school in Sydney in The Sixties. It begins with two young women, Diana and Veronica, entering the convent of Santo Spirito and later becoming Sisters Catherine and Paul. Many of the issues of the time are broiught up like Vatican II, contraception, The Vietnam War and teenage pregnancy.

Tropes used in Brides of Christ include:
  • Boarding School
  • Conscription: Russell Crowe's character Dominic Maloney comes up for the national service, Draft Dodging is mentioned and it's implied that he's killed.
  • Confessional: Played straight with the booth, the priest and the penances. The nuns also have their own public confessional which they do as a group and the senior nuns (Mother Ambrose and Sister Agnes) impose penances.
  • The Fundamentalist: Sister Agnes is a milder version of this, she holds fast to the traditions of old when they start to slip away after Vatican II, and she did set that girl to recite the entire Litany of the Virgin which lead to her breakdown.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Rosemary decides to keep her baby, abortion never came up as an option as her other choice was to adopt it out.
  • Gratuitous Latin: Well, this is about the Catholic Church...
  • Important Haircut
  • Marriage to a God: Well, duh!
  • Moral Guardians: Sister Agnes makes the girls rule lines through several pages of Twelfth Night when Catherine points out a scene that refers to sex. And later when they are performing the play, Frances' recently-divorced mother offers to help, but they shut her out.
  • Nuns-N-Rosaries: Played straight for a very good reason until the third episode when the nuns shed their penguin outfits after the Vatican II council. Though not all of them are willing.
  • School Play: The girls perform Twelfth Night in the second episode.
  • Sexy Priest: Jack Delahunty, Paul falls in love with him and temporarily leaves the convent.
  • Shown Their Work: This is perhaps one of the best examples of Pre and Post-Vatican II Catholicism. Diana and Veronica's postulancy and later their novitiate as Catherine and Paul are depicted in great detail. The same goes with the masses that are shown throughout the series, starting in Latin, then a mixture of Latin and English and then finally only in English.
  • Team Mom: Who else but Mother Ambrose.
  • Teen Pregnancy: This happens to Rosemary after she is expelled.
  • Wedding Day