Brides of Christ

Season 1 Episode 2

Frances

0
Aired Unknown Sep 11, 1991 on ABC
10
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Frances
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Frances Heffernon is a child of divorced parents who misses her father terribly and struggles at times in her relationship with her mother. When Frances's mother, a Catholic, announces that she is to remarry, Frances is not only torn between her pain because there is no hope of her parents getting back together, but she must also contend with taunts and jibes from several other girls at the convent of Santo Spirito, where she is a boarder.

Frances gives her mother full backing when she attempts to get her marriage annulled, and is bitter and hurt when the Bishop refuses consent based on Church law. In spite of this, Elizabeth Heffernon and Roger Conlan decide to get married in a civil ceremony. Mother Ambrose gives Frances permission to attend the ceremony and Frances is delighted when Sister Paul and Sister Catherine, who has recently returned to the convent after her period in exile, attend the ceremony with her, but Sister Agnes and the ultra-conservative parents of the others girls openly snub Frances's mother when she arrives to assist with the school play after her marriage.

Whilst Frances is very hurt, she is openly supported by the school rebel, Rosemary Fitzgerald, and by Brigid Maloney, the 'brains' of the school. Her mother tells her not to be concerned by what others think and say and Frances wins a victory when she does a terrific job of the lead in the school play and her dad, new stepfather and proud mother arrive to see her confirmed into the faith.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • This episode shows just how much skill Naomi Watts has when taking on a lead role. A superb job by the entire cast, but Naomi, as Frances Heffernon, really shines.

    10
    In the mid-1960s, Frances Heffernon feels like something of a fish out of water at the Catholic convent of Santo Spirito where she is a boarder. Frances is suffering a lot og internal struggles which affect her performance at school where she endeavours to keep pretty much to herself. Her parents have been separated for a long time, she misses her father terribly and there are some clashes with her mother.



    When Frances learns that her mother (portrayed by Anne Tenney) is to re-marry, she is stunned because she wasn't even aware that her parents were officially divorced. Things become even more complicated when the Catholic church refuse to grant an annulment. Undeterred, Liz Heffernon goes ahead with her marriage to Roger Conlan, in a civil ceremony at the local registry office.



    Needless to say, Frances is in turmoil as Sister Agnes and several of the pious parents of other girls turn on her newly-married mother when she arrives at the school to help with costumes for the school play. Her mother tells her to hold her head high and not to worry about what others are saying and doing.



    With the help of her two new friends, Rosemary Fitzgerald and Brigid Maloney, she learns to cope and everything ends well when she is a resounding success in the school play and her parents and step-father attend her Confirmation.



    Superb work by Naomi Watts. She was 23 when she played the teenage Frances and was extremely deserving of the critical acclaim which came her way after the huge success of the series.moreless
John Stone

John Stone

Roger Conlan

Guest Star

John Frawley

John Frawley

The Bishop

Guest Star

Rhys McConnochie

Rhys McConnochie

The Monsignor

Guest Star

Melissa Thomas

Melissa Thomas

Brigid Maloney

Recurring Role

Caroline Gilmer

Caroline Gilmer

Sister Philomena

Recurring Role

Kirsty McGregor

Kirsty McGregor

Caroline

Recurring Role

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