The life of Sister Blandina Segale was not ordinary.
Segale, a 19th century nun who resided in New Mexico, had deep roots in the state’s capital. She built schools, orphanages, and spearheaded the funding for the establishment of St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe. Reports have said Segale was also a vocal opponent of the inhumane treatment of Native Americans and served as an ally for poor immigrants, cancer patients, and women trafficked as sex slaves.
During her time as a missionary, she allegedly tended to gunfighter and outlaw Henry McCarthy (aka Billy the Kid), who was confined in a New Mexican prison alongside other prisoners. Legend has it, it was Segale who convinced McCarthy to abandon his plan to scalp four doctors in Colorado.
Saint Hood Productions, based in Albuquerque, plans to bring Segale’s life to the small screen with its project titled, “At the End of the Santa Fe Trail.”
The company hopes to generate over $1 million for the southwestern state.
“Sister Blandina’s story is an important one and we want to acknowledge what she’s done,” co-producer Mark Stenig told local newspaper Albuquerque Journal. “We need to tell of her honesty, compassion, and love. We have a solid foundation that she created.”
The filming of the series will take place in Santa Fe and Stenig hopes to employ several hundred New Mexicans for the film. However, the actress he wants to play Sister Blandina is in California.
“We have our eye on one actress and are in negotiations,” Stenig said. “She lives out in California, and she’d probably be the only one not from the state.”
Executive producer and director Tomas Sanchez said Segale’s story is important for New Mexicans to know.
“This task requires lots of attention to history and demands that we hire the best New Mexican cast and crew to execute some very technically challenging film sequences,” Sanchez said.
The production is currently finding a network to air the show and principal photography is scheduled to begin in October.
Segale is also being considered by the Vatican for sainthood—a decision that can take a century to make.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.