How to Value Every Life: A Reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent

Fr. Rene Robert of St. Augustine, Florida

March 15, 2020  |  Stella Mar Films |  Today’s Readings


By ministering to the Samaritan woman, an outcast of the Jewish Society, Jesus shows us just how valuable we humans are to God. It is through Jesus’ encounter with this woman that we learn that we, too, must see and protect that value in others, especially the outcast and marginalized.

As independent filmmakers, we are often drawn to stories like the one from today’s Gospel which highlight mercy and love. We were fortunate to produce a true crime documentary, Where There is Darkness, which follows such a story—that of Fr. Rene Robert, a beloved priest who devoted his life to helping the less fortunate in the tight-knit community of St. Augustine, Florida. 

Fr. Rene believed in the dignity of the human person and honored that dignity by tending to the poor and those in prison. He went so far as to become a one-stop rehabilitation center for returning citizens trying to get back into society—not the safest idea, perhaps, but one that shows his commitment to showing the face of God to those who had never seen it or had forgotten what it looked like.

It was through this that Fr. Rene’s life ended in an abrupt and brutal way. Yet even from the grave, he was able to continue showing mercy to his killer through a letter he had written denouncing the death penalty.