Zoom Lenten series guides young adults in being 'mindful' about media use

Sister Nancy Usselmann, a Daughter of St. Paul and the director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Los Angeles, is pictured in an undated photo. (OSV News photo/courtesy Sister Nancy Usselmann)

CULVER CITY, Calif. (OSV News) -- Sister Nancy Usselmann, a Daughter of St. Paul, who is a widely recognized expert on media literacy, is inviting young adults in their 20s and 30s to take a deep dive this Lent into how to be "media mindful" in their use of media.

Sister Nancy, director of her order's Center for Media Studies in Culver City, is leading a free series via Zoom called "iFaith: What's God have to do with my media?" on four Tuesdays in Lent: Feb. 27 and March 5, 12 and 19.

The sessions are 90 minutes long and start at 8 p.m. EST. Registration ends Feb. 25. Those who want to participate in the series will find a link to register on the website of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Annandale, Virginia: holyspiritchurch.us/ifaith. Each session covers a different form of media -- film, television, social media and video games.

Registrants are asked to take a five-minute survey "to assess where they are in their relationship with God, with Christ, but also their relationship with their media," Sister Nancy told OSV News Feb. 22.

A release on the series said participants will examine how to "learn to live authentically" with their media"; go deeper into their relationship with Christ; create "purposeful community"; become "a media apostle"; and "be transformed this Lent!"

Sister Nancy is a theologian, international speaker, writer, film/TV reviewer and author of "A Sacred Look: Becoming Cultural Mystics," a theology of popular culture. She is a doctoral candidate at The Catholic University of America in Washington in the field of liturgical catechesis.

"It's not realistic that we're going to be able to remove ourselves totally from every screen," she told OSV News, but young adults especially can find it challenging and overwhelming, "as we all do at different times," to be on the screen all the time because they use media in their jobs and in their personal life.

Sister Nancy said the goal of the series is "really about having them really reflect deeply on it ... that's the antithesis of the nature of social media ... and helping them to make better choices and to be more discerning on their everyday use of not just social media but every (type of) media."

She added that she created the series as a model of "how a media mindfulness catechesis can truly be a very integral way of helping young adults live their faith in their everyday lives."


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