From a fascinating Wall Street Journal piece, "Alfred Hitchcock's Final Surprise" (Dec. 6, 2012), by Fr. Mark Henninger, S.J.:
time , I was a graduate student in philosophy at UCLA, and I was
(and remain) a Jesuit priest. A fellow priest, Tom Sullivan, who knew
Hitchcock, said one Thursday that the next day he was going over to hear
Hitchcock's confession. Tom asked whether on Saturday afternoon I would
accompany him to celebrate a Mass in Hitchcock's house.
dumbfounded, but of course said yes. On that Saturday, when we found
Hitchcock asleep in the living room, Tom gently shook him. Hitchcock
awoke, looked up and kissed Tom's hand, thanking him.
Tom said, "Hitch, this is Mark Henninger, a young priest from Cleveland."
"Cleveland?" Hitchcock said. "Disgraceful!"
we chatted for a while, we all crossed from the living room through a
breezeway to his study, and there, with his wife, Alma, we celebrated a
quiet Mass. Across from me were the bound volumes of his movie scripts,
"The Birds," "Psycho," "North by Northwest" and othersa great
distraction. Hitchcock had been away from the church for some time, and
he answered the responses in Latin the old way. But the most remarkable
sight was that after receiving communion, he silently cried, tears
rolling down his huge cheeks.
Tom and I returned a number of
times, always on Saturday afternoons, sometimes together, but I remember
once going by myself. I'm somewhat tongue-tied around famous people and
found it a bit awkward to chitchat with Alfred Hitchcock, but we did,
enjoyably, in his living room. At one point he said, "Let's have Mass."
was 81 years old and had difficulty moving, so I helped him get up and
assisted him across the breezeway. As we slowly walked, I felt I had to
say something to break the silence, and the best I could come up with
was, "Well, Mr. Hitchcock, have you seen any good movies lately?" He
paused and said emphatically, "No, I haven't. When I made movies they
were about people, not robots. Robots are boring. Come on, let's have
Mass." He died soon after these visits [on April 28, 1980], and his
funeral Mass was at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Beverly Hills.
Read the entire piece on the WSJ site.