National Film Retreat – Register Today!

Date: Friday, July 4 – Sunday, July 6, 2008
(The deadline for registration is June 28, 2008)

Location: Pauline Center for Media Studies
3908 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City , CA 90230
Web site:

“No motion picture subgenre has had so perplexing a success as the food movie. Generally defined as an arty romance centered around elegant cuisine, the food movie jumped to success with 1987’s Babette’s Feast, and kept its audience through such acclaimed sleepers as Like Water For Chocolate (the 1992 adaptation of Laura Esquivel’s novel) and 1996’s Big Night (a tale of two restaurant-owning Italians whose brotherhood is united through their culinary art). More recently, big studios have tackled the food movie’s commercial prospects, leaving us with the Oscar-nominated Chocolat (2000) and Simply Irresistible (1999), in which Sarah Michelle Gellar is transformed into a brilliant chef through the help of her magical pet crab. Where these films thrive is in their ability to make audiences wish they could be eating that which they’re confined to looking at….” Mark Palermo, The Odd Success of the Food Movie


Film Slate

Friday evening
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?

Saturday morning
Eat, Drink, Man, Woman

Saturday Afternoon
Optional Film or a contemplative walk along Venice Beach


Saturday Evening
Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Sunday Morning
What’s Cooking?




For more information and to download the registration form, visit

Cruise Film Retreat Memo!

Cruise Film Retreat

       Join us for the very first


     Cathlic Film Retreat At Sea!





       Melting Pots: Food & Family

Film Slate:

My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Big Night,

The Grapes of Wrath,

 What’s Cooking?




    Date: Friday, October 10 – Monday, October 13, 2008                                      

Long Beach, CA – Ensenada, Mexico – Long Beach, CA




Columbus Day weekend Prices:

Inside Quad cabins 3-4 people: $234.44 total

Inside double Cabins: $448.44 total

Oceanview Double Cabins: $488.44 total

includes donation to Daughters of St. Paul/Open Call/National Film Retreat; to be matched by Carnival,

film screenings & materials,

all port charges, taxes, and tips!

(no envelopes needed on last day!)


Optional Insurance: $39.00 per adult; $19.00 per child



Reserve your cabin at click on the group link in the upper right, then scroll down for Catholic Film Retreat, click the book it link at bottom

Or contact Ann-Marie Blaney by e-mail:

phone:  949-632-7155

direct link:

         Passengers must have a valid passport.

Film Directors:

Rev. Ron Schmidt, SJ, Hope Productions, Los Angeles

Sr. Rose Pacatte, FSP, Pauline Center for Media Studies, Los Angeles

Frank Frost, Frank Frost Productions, Washington, DC

Please call if you have any questions at all!


Retreat questions call: Nanciann Horvath 714-394-4989


Pope encourages media skepticism not cynicism

POPE-COMMUNICATIONS May-23-2008 (600 words) xxxi

Pope encourages media professors to teach skepticism, not cynicism

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Students preparing for a career in communications must learn to be skeptical, especially when the public good is at stake, but they also must be helped to avoid becoming cynical, Pope Benedict XVI told communications professors.

“Nourish and reward that passion for truth and goodness that is always strong in the young. Help them give themselves fully to the search for truth,” the pope said in a May 23 address to participants in a meeting sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

The meeting brought together professors and staff members from communications departments at Catholic universities and institutes from around the world to discuss the specifically Catholic mission of their educational programs, the best ways to respond to rapid changes in the field of communications and how to educate future media professionals in ethical values.

Pope Benedict told the professors that every form of communication — from teaching to prayer — using every means from the human voice to a computer is a reflection of the fact that human beings were created to communicate, to create relationships and to grow “in knowledge, wisdom and love.”

Obviously, he said, if communication is to be effective it must be based on truth.

“A communicator can attempt to inform, to educate, to entertain, to convince, to comfort; but the final worth of any communication lies in its truthfulness,” he said.

The “passion for truth” that communications students and professionals must have and develop “can be well served by a certain methodological skepticism, particularly in matters affecting the public interest,” Pope Benedict said.

However, the pope said, students need guidance to ensure their questioning is not so distorted that it becomes “a relativistic cynicism in which all claims to truth and beauty are routinely rejected or ignored.”

As mediabecome more and more important in people’s daily lives, he said, helping people learn how to judge the ethical content they are accessing and teaching future professionals the necessity of always upholding the truth take on even greater urgency.

“It also is necessary to promote justice, solidarity and respect in every circumstance for the value and dignity of each person, who has a right not to be harmed in that which concerns his private life,” the pope said.

Pope Benedict offered particular praise to the religious orders and bishops’ conferences that have established Catholic universities in developing countries.

He said more attention must be paid to the fact that as new means of communications enable people to share information more quickly, millions of poor people have no access and are being left further and further behind the rest of the world economically and socially.

In addition, he said, communicators must be on guard against a form of global communications that “weakens or eliminates traditional customs and local cultures, especially those that have fortified family and social values, love, solidarity and respect for life.”

In looking at the Catholic identity of the universities, Pope Benedict said that the percentage of Catholic students is not the point.

“It is most of all a question of conviction,” he said. “Catholic identity lies first of all in the decision to entrust oneself — intellect and will, mind and heart — to God.”

Those who study and teach communications are in a privileged place to help not only their students, but also their local churches to find more effective ways to proclaim the truth and “make known to all people the good news of the love of God,” Pope Benedict said.

Preaching the Media: Exploring Media, Faith & Values in Faith Communities

Preaching the Media: Exploring Media, Faith, and Values in Faith Communities (2008)



  People in faith communities are exposed to messages that may not agree with their own
    ideologies. How do these families reconcile the values in modern media with the religious
    values they believe in? This program provides a discussion with faith-based media
    educators about the impact of media, and how to educate children about the media at
    home and in the classroom.

    Includes interviews with Sister Rose Pacatte of the Pauline Center for Media Studies,
    Father Peter Malone of SIGNIS, and religious media scholars Maria Elena de las Carreras and Andrew Tinker.

    2008, 32 minutes, NTSC DVD

    This title is available for purchase.

Prince Caspian Review and Family Guide



The Chronicles of Narnia  Prince Caspian

A Family Film Guide


            1,300 years have passed in Narnia, though only one year has passed for the Pevensie children in Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures latest production The Chronicle of Narnia: Prince Caspian. This interpretation of the fourth chronological volume of C. S. Lewis classic series (written 1950-1956) is literally roaring into theaters this week.


            The film opens with the birth of a child. This event causes Prince Caspian’s tutor, Professor Cornelius (Vincent Grass) to urge the teenaged Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes; Stardust), a Tamarine and heir to the throne, to flee the kingdom’s castle. His uncle, the usurper King Miraz (Sergio Castellito; Mostly Martha), wants to kill Caspian so his new-born son will one day reign. Cornelius gives Caspian the horn that had once belonged to Susan Pevensie (Anna Popplewell) and warns him to use it only in extreme necessity. 


            Caspian is injured and taken in by a kindly badger, Trufflehunter (Ken Scott; Charlie Wilson’s War) and the dark-spirited dwarf Nikabrik (Warwick David; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix). With Miraz’s soldiers bearing down, Caspian blows the horn. It summons the Pevensie children from war-time London (1941) and lands them on a lush island in Narnia. They discover that since the children were last in Narnia, human Tamarines had invaded and exterminated most of the citizens. With the help of the good but grumpy dwarf Trumpkin (Peter Dinklage; The Station Agent) they journey to Aslan’s How where the Narnians have built a garrison at the broken Stone Table. Caspian meets them there. To help the oppressed Narnians and Caspian, the High King Peter (William Moseley) drafts a challenge to Miraz. The young people make decisions about war with dire consequences. Lucy (Georgie Henley) who thinks she has seen Aslan (voice of Liam Neeson; Batman Begins), seeks his help, only to discover that he has been there all the while.


The Film

            Director and co-writer Andrew Anderson has interpreted Prince Caspian through sweeping cinematography that is warm and beautiful. He has restructured the storyline while keeping the essence and key events of C.S. Lewis’ story in tact. By taking the time to develop the new characters in varying levels of complexity, this adaptation is non- linear, interesting and compelling. To their credit the writers have not reduced the moral dilemmas the characters face into simple black and white categories. Instead they show how difficult it is to know and choose what is right and good. The special effects are bold and magical. All the actors give solid, credible performances. The humor derives from the book and is well-placed, timed, and delivered.


Key differences between the film and the book are that the handsome Caspian becomes more of a central figure in the and there are too many prolonged chases and/or battle scenes. This has resulted in the film’s clocking in at almost 2 ½ hours – an hour too long for me.


            Yet Anderson has, in fact, turned Prince Caspian into a rather awesome, magical epic that is well worth experiencing. Aslan continues to be strong and gentle; Lucy’s relationship with him is genuinely affectionate, trusting, and confident. Lewis’ themes are subtly woven into the narrative and offer families and religious educators (and English teachers) much to talk about.


I think Prince Caspian is appropriate for children aged about nine and up because of the intensity of the fighting and violence (though completely bloodless). 


                                                     c. Disney  Enterprises Inc. and Walden Media LLC.
Photo Credit: Murray Close


Key Themes for Conversation


Faith, Hope & Love – The children discover a garden filled with apples. Lucy eats one of them. As the children and Trumpkin journey toward Aslan’s How, Lucy thinks she sees Aslan signaling them to take another route. The others don’t really believe her, and she doubts herself. Instead of following Aslan, she keeps going with the group. (What test of faith in the Bible do the fruit and the garden remind you of? See Genesis 2, 3). Talk about Lucy’s test and journey of faith, as well as that of the other characters. How did you feel when Lucy talks to Aslan about believing in what we cannot see? How did you feel about Aslan’s response to her? How did you feel when Nikabrik called upon the White Witch? What saved Peter from the temptation to trust her instead of Aslan’s promise?


What does hope mean to you? How did the Narnians, in particular, show hope in the film? Did they ever sound discouraged in having to wait so long for deliverance? What changed their sadness to hope? When Lucy asks Aslan why things cannot be as they were, what does Aslan tell her? What does he mean? How is Aslan the fulfillment of Lucy’s hope?


How many different kinds of love are shown in the film? Even though the Pevensie children don’t always agree with one another, do you think they love one another? How do you know? What kind of love does Caspian show for the professor? And the professor for him? What kind of love does Trufflehunter show? Who does King Miraz love? How do you know this? How did you feel when the heroic Narnians die at the castle? Why did they follow King Peter and Prince Caspian into battle? Why did the contents of Lucy’s bottle have the power to heal? Why is healing or helping others a sign of love?



What do you think is the difference between “seeing” and “looking”? Why do you think the characters talk about having “an imagination”? Why didn’t they all see Aslan when Lucy could? Aslan is often interpreted as a God-figure (as well as a Christ-figure) in C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. How do you imagine God to be? What does God look like to you? How do you talk to God in your heart? Is it like the way that Lucy talks to Aslan? (Would you like to try it? Close your eyes for a moment and pretend …) 


Choosing Peace  – In the film Lucy offers a challenge to Peter and the others as they try to decide whether to pitch the battle at the castle or at Aslan’s How. She says that they are only considering two options: if they will die at the castle or at the How. What is the third option Lucy suggests to them? Do you think Lucy’s option would work in the world today? Why or why not? How does your imagination tell you the story would change if the children had taken Lucy’s suggestion?


Character or moral fiber – To have a good character means that a person makes right choices when alone or with others. Some of the funniest and most memorable moments in the film are when the characters make remarks about the personalities of the others. What qualities or virtues (habits of doing good), or negative traits did you notice in the film? (Courage, courtesy, chivalry, kindness, hospitality. love; lying, complaining, stubbornness, misuse of power.)  What did Reepicheep mean when he talked about his “huge humility”? Why do you think some people would think this was a funny thing to say? What did Aslan say about this? Do you think Prince Caspian was humble? What about Lucy and the other children and characters? Why? (Make a list of your favorite and another of your least favorite characters. Write one word beside each name that describes their character, that is, their virtues or character weaknesses.) What was the difference between Lord Sopespian and General Glozelle? Who said that no one can hate like humans can? Why did he say this? What is power? Why do some of the characters in the film want to be powerful over others and get rid of them? Is it ever right to want to bein power over others? Why or why not?


Decision making – Good character often is shown when people (or characters ina story) have to make choices between one, two or more things that may seem to have thesame importance. Upon reflection, however, a person will hopefully make the best choice for the common good of family, school, community, church and society based on what he or she knows to be right or wrong. If the person doesn’t know, he/she can ask for advice. Talk about when this happens in the film especially as it relates to resolving conflicts or arguments. Then, what decision(s) proves that Prince Caspian has a good, even great, character? What traits will make him a good leader? What would you have done in Caspian’s place when he has a chance to take revenge on King Miraz for his father’s death? What did Miraz do that was wrong? Why did he do that? Why is vengeance never a Christ-like option? (Do you think Azlan would have ever taken vengeance when he was slain in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Why? What about the Pevensie siblings reacted when they find out who will be returning to Narnia and who will not? What character strengths did they show?


The Environment – Why are the trees dead in the film? What brings them back to life? What parts of nature are shown to be healthy in the film? What parts seem unhealthy? Do you think there is a message in the film about taking care of the earth? If you do, talk about what you noticed. (Why is it a good thing to care for the earth?)


Other themes in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian: Myth; the hero’s journey; moral issues such as murder and the existential/spiritual and physical effects of such unnatural acts; gender roles; multiculturalism; growing up; spiritual maturity; racism and genocide; freedom from oppression; key themes of Catholic social teaching  as reflected in the film (; symbolism: light, water, etc.; sacramental signs and their meaning.




Sister Rose Pacatte, FSP, is a Daughter of St. Paul and the Director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Culver City. She is the film/TV columnist for St. Anthony Messenger and a contributor to The Tidings. Sr. Rose is also a media literacy education specialist.

So You Think You Can Dance?


When the 4th season of “So you thing You Can Dance” begins on May 22 (Fox), I will be watching. I watched it for the first time last year and was blown away by many of the dances as the weeks went on, especially “The Hummingbird Dance.” It’s the one dance I remember. I watched it again this morning and felt the same way. I was also impressed by how serious and sincere these young people are about dance, and how talented they are. For the most part, I really admired how well they created and gave so much credibility to their art.

I took tap dancing lessons when I was in 2nd grade. I begged and badgered until my grandmother enrolled me and paid the $2 per lesson at the nearest Totten Dance Studio in San Diego. After the first “recital”, well, I came out late and so they gave me a plastic trophy and said I didn’t need to come back anymore. I got over it. It was a lot of physical work that included tumbling. I wasn’t a very good tumbler! Well, we all have our gifts.

All the best to the dancers and choreographers. I hope this season will be even more inspiring than last time.


American Idol

Are you a fan? I am and have been since the show debuted.

I do tire of the audition process because it’s always the same. I feel badly for the contestants whose feelings are hurt, but I hope that people who want a career in entertainment will realize how difficult television is and learn a good lesson. I want them to disern long and hard before they take the step to audition. As I have said before, I wish parents would be more truthful with their kids in the first place. On the other hand, the families of many of the contestants are on hand to support their daughter, son, cousin, friend and this is always good to see. 

So it is manipulation and exploitation on the part of American Idol – its deemed “good” television and this makes it profitable for Fox. At this stage of the game, from the final 25 on, no contestant goes into the process without knowing they could be made fun of, painfully, or launch a career.

Having said this, I am still a fan of American Idol because I love to see these artists do well; what an occasion to celebrate how God has blessed them and us. The final three, David Archuleta, David Cook and Syesha Mercado, are all good, but my vote goes for David Cook. Though he is the favored, and has a fine voice, I think David A. might need to mature (life-experience) as an artist and that Syesha is so outstanding that she will have a career no matter what. Her rendition of “A Change is Gonna Come” was genuine and beautiful.

I also want to say that I voted for Chris Daughtry (and the only one in our community who did) and always said he was the best of that season, and look how well he is doing. And I am not a fan of rock. David Cook, like Daughtry, sounds wonderful, rock or not.

Finally, I love Brook White – what a talented young woman and my community (the other three fans!) really like Carly Smithson.

In the scheme of things, does American Idol matter? It matters tosome people, and it entertains millions. It provides a way for us (nuns) to talk together about things that don’t matter and things that do. The show helps us build community because we are communicating and reminded to respect the opinions of others.

When American Idol seems to wander from respect for the people on the show, judges, contestants, whoever, it can let us down. But when it upholds the dignity of the people and the arts, including the audience, it entertains, and uplifts us, and succeeds wildly.


Tyler’s Ride Webisode Update

Tyler’s Ride Update

It’s Tuesday and time for an all new Tyler’s Ride! See Episode 6 today!

This week, find-out what happens when Tyler and Vinnie push Samantha too far. Then, how does a neighbor’s dog help? What happens to Tyler in the park that sets him into a new direction? It’s a new day on Tyler’s Ride!

You can watch Episodes 1 – 6 in Fullscreen HD TV on blinkx! Go to and send your favorite episodes to friends!

Be sure to also check-out new, behind-the-scenes photos now and video blogs later this week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday! See what Lauren, Tyler and Charles are really thinking!

Go to and now! Tell a friend!

Paulist Productions
I am posting this so that you can check out the great possibilities of the web for innovative story-telling that matters. Kudos to Paulist Productions for “putting out into the deep” with this initiative.
Sr Rose