Sunday 11 July 2021

Fr Ignatius Spencer filming - New Catholic DVD

 July 11th 2021 - Mary's Dowry Productions UK

Currently we have six films in production at various stages, with narration being performed, editing on final productions, costume preparation OR writing taking place for films about:

Blessed Anna Maria Taigi

Fr Ignatius Spencer

Sr Elizabeth Prout

Margery Kempe

St Ralph Sherwin


Saint David Lewis

This weekend we were able to meet with a friend and parishioner at a local spot to film visuals of Fr Ignatius Spencer for our film about Sr Elizabeth Prout and out film about Fr Ignatius Spencer. Despite the threat of rain we were able to keep (mostly) dry and spent a good two and a half hours recreating significant moments from the life and mission of this important Passionist Priest.

Fr Ignatius Spencer is well-known as being a great uncle of Princess Diana Spencer. He was the youngest son of George, the 2nd Earl Spencer, and was given the name George at his birth. He grew up at Althorp House and Estate and went to Eton with his elder brother (the latter of whom would become the 3rd Earl Spencer). The late Princess Diana Spencer's brother is the current 9th Earl Spencer.

Very intelligent, sensitive, pious and good, the young George Spencer studied very hard and went off to Cambridge for further education. He later became an Anglican deacon and Anglican Vicar and was given a parish, spending his time in service to his people, especially the poor, taking clothes and food to those in need.

His study of the Early Church Fathers, as well as trying (and failing) to find a scriptural basis for the Protestant 39 Articles, led him eventually to Catholicism. Seeking to spare his aristocratic and Protestant family from the awkwardness of their son become a Catholic, he left England to study in Rome and eventually became a Catholic priest.

George joined the Passionist Order which was known for a special interest in England and the return of England to the Catholic Faith. He took the name Father Ignatius of St Paul and befriended Blessed Dominic Barberi. Before his religious life, Fr Ignatius had created a powerful crusade of prayer for the conversion of England and lectured on The Great Importance of a Reunion Between the Catholics and the Protestants of England and the Method of Effecting It.  He also wrote to St. John Henry Newman, then an Anglican, asking the great Oxford scholar to join him in prayer for unity. Newman refused but later apologised.

Fr Ignatius Spencer spent years travelling England and Ireland and was also the spiritual director of Sr Elizabeth Prout who founded an order of Passionist nuns in Manchester and dedicated her life to helping the poor.

He died not long after Elizabeth Prout in 1861. Father Ignatius’ health had always been precarious at best and worn out with continual work, preaching and begging he suffered a heart attack and died alone in a ditch (the death he had often described as ideal for himself) on 1st October 1864. He was buried alongside Dominic Barberi in St. Anne’s, Sutton, St. Helens on October 4th and now rests in the shrine church there. When his body was exhumed in 1973 it was noted that Father Ignatius suffered from horrific arthritis, but that his tongue had not suffered any decay since the day of his death.

Our film about Fr Ignatius Spencer will be released soon from Mary's Dowry Productions on DVD and Instant Digital Video. Visit our website for NEW releases and a full catalogue of our Catholic and historical films available worldwide. 

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