Christmas Letter Part II
Activities of the Director (PCMS)
In March, St. Mary’s Press published Media Mindfulness: Educating Teens about Faith and Media written by Sr. Gretchen Hailer, RSHM, and I (www.smp.org).
In October, Pauline Books & Media (www.pauline.org) published Into Great Silence: A Film Study Guide that Fr. Ron Schmidt, SJ and I wrote.
This year I was privileged to speak at the NCEA in Baltimore, NACMP in Columbus, and at ministry gatherings for the Arch/dioceses of Philadelphia, Tyler, TX, San Diego, and Helena, MT. I received two awards this year (lovely surprises!), the “Technology Award” from the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership inColumbus, OH,
and the “Jessie McCanse Award” for contributions to media literacy, from the National Telemedia Council (www.nationaltelemediacouncil.org).
My film/television review column for St. Anthony Messenger, Eye on Entertainment received a 2nd Place Award for Best Regular Column from the Catholic Press Association in May in Brooklyn, NY (www.americancatholic.org). I also gave workshops on media mindfulness at the LA Relgious Ed Congress (with Sr. Gretchen Hailer, RSHM) and one at the Christian Brothers Huether Conference in St. Louis In November. In June I presented and participated in the National Media Education Conference in St. Louis. Lights, Camera, Faith: The Ten Commandments, written with Peter Malone, MSH, received an Award of Excellence from the Religious Communicators Council (www.religioncommunicators.org) and The Nativity Story Tie-In Project (www.pauline.org) received an Award of Excellence as well, for writing. I also enjoyed participating at the Whitehead Film Festival at the Claremont School of Theology, the City of Angels Film Festival, the Gabriel Awards and Catholics in Media.
One of the big moments was to accompany Fr. Peter Malone, MSH, and Sr. Marie-Paul Curley, FSP when he visited LA in October to present Paul Haggis with the Venice International Film Festival’s Catholic Jury SIGNIS award for “In the Valley of Elah.”
It was also good to see this film as well as The Nativity Story, Akeelah and the Bee, and Champions of Faith: Baseball awarded by CIMA and The Gabriel Awards.
In March, I was invited to be part of the SIGNIS Media Education meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa (www.signis.net). I stayed for part of the time with our Daughter of St. Paul community and gave a workshop at one of the Catholic schools and gave some interviews for radio, press, and web. I also met up with my good friend Denise Newfield and her family once again. Denise invited me to speak about media literacy to her teachers’ class at the University of the Witswatersrand.
My wonderful nephew Sam continues to do well in high school; he and his mom, my sister Sarah, appeared recently on The Mike and Juliet Morning Show (http://www.mandjshow.com/videos/the-choking-game/) to talk about the choking game. Jake made his First Communion in May. Whenthe priest asked the kids after they received communion how they should be different now that they had received Jesus, one boy said “We’re not supposed to sin.” Pause. “So much.” After the laughter died down, Jake stage-whispered his mom, “Why was that so funny?” Funniest 1st Communion I ever went to! During the October fires Emilie and Paul and kids put the dog and photo albums in the car and went to Las Vegas to escape the smoke (they forgot the parakeet!). My niece Liz and her fiancé Jason plan on getting married in May – congratulations! My sister Libby and her husband Tracy still have Harold the Donkey. Their three huge black Labs are on probation after they got into the baby chick cage and decimated the population.
1 vs 100 begins again on Friday, January 4, NBC at 8pm. It will run for eight weeks I think and I will part of the Mob on 4 (maybe 5) of the episodes depending on how they are edited. I was on the show previously in late 2006 and in January 2007. If you caught the episodes I went out on a PacMan question and then how many states begin with “New”. You’ll have to watch and see what happens this time around! I was on an episode of Last Comic Standing in August but that was a little outside of my comfort zone. With the Writer’s Strike continuing I imagine more game/reality shows will emerge. We are all praying here that the strike will be justly resolved soon.
In January we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Daughters of St. Paul in the United States, the 50th in California, and the 18th in Los Angeles. Sr. Mary Bernardine and Sr. Christine Virginia were in a terrible accident outside on Tucson, AZ in January. Our van was totaled, and the sisters flown by copter to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. Sr Christine was released after 4-5 days but Sr. Bernardine was in ICU for quite some time. She was flown to Boston to our Provincial house after about six weeks and then went through intensive physical therapy before she was able to return home to Culver City on June 28, the actual date of our 75th anniversary in the USA. What a wonderful that day it was! Here is Sr. Mary Bernardine (the tall sister in the middle) with our community, including our co-workers and friends.
A Blessed Christmas to All
Love and prayers always