The New Sisters

Hailey, Larissa, and Kaitlyn are preparing to swear eternal vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience at a time of ongoing scandal in the church. This intimate portrait examines the role of American women in the Catholic Church and their influence on gender equality and the escalating debate over reproductive rights in America.

“The New Sisters” captures their final months of preparation to join the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal, a New York City based community of religious sisters founded in 1988. As these young women adjust to life in the convent and try to decide if this is truly the right path for them, Sister Maria Teresa, Sister Josephine, and Sister Mary Pieta share their own experiences and help discern if these young women will be a good fit for the community. Their entire experience could come to a halt if the postulants or the sisters determine that they are not ready for a lifelong commitment to religious life.



Alexandra Ostasiewicz is a documentary filmmaker and photographer based in New York City. She is currently earning her masters in documentary film from the Columbia Journalism School. She has several years experience producing videos and photos for nonprofit organizations, work that has taken her around the world filming and leading productions in over 20 countries and 12 U.S. states. Growing up, she went to a Catholic school -- run by two nuns -- from kindergarten through middle school.

André Martins is a Brazilian-American documentary filmmaker and graduate student at the Columbia Journalism school. Heworked for many years producing branded content and educational videos for various nonprofit organizations in Boston and New York. As a child, he and his family would often travel from their hometown of São Paulo to spend long weekends with his favorite aunt, a catholic nun in Rio de Janeiro.