Final Vows

Final Vows

Produced by Vicky Westover, Susan Slonaker & Sande Zeig
Four years in the life of a cloistered order of nuns at Santa Rita Abbey.



Final Vows chronicles the life of a cloistered order of nuns at Santa Rita Abbey, a Cistercian monastery in the high desert of Arizona. The nuns, who take a vow that binds them to remain in the community they entered for life, candidly share their joys and struggles. While each woman’s journey is unique, they all felt a call and chose to join this community of prayer and work. The nuns rise at 4am for their first prayers of the day and support themselves through the mechanized production and sale of altar bread. The Abbey faces challenges as the nuns are aging and few young women are choosing a monastic life. The Abbess, a life-sustaining presence for this striving community, may be required to step down soon when she turns 75 years old. Made from small moments of daily life, the film serves as a meditation on aging and caring for others and asks viewers to consider if this lifestyle offers any wisdom for our society.

Running time
83 minutes


  • Vicky Westover ... Producer/Director
  • Jonathan VanBallenberghe ... Cinematographer, Editor
  • Susan Slonaker ... Producer
  • Sande Zeig ... Producer
  • Eren McGinnis ... Sound Recordist

Production Details

Prod. Co.
A Street Productions
United States
Years of Production
2018- 2024
Sonoita, Arizona

Distribution Details

Release year
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
First Run Features



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