I am so very grateful for this award. I was at the movies when Jane Abbott, the president of CIMA called me, twice, and I let it go to message because, well, I was at the movies, and when one is at the movies, one should be there. I called her back from Barnes and Noble’s after. Jane told me about the Board of Directors Award and I was very moved to be considered – and momentarily rendered speechless. You really managed to surprise me.
Before I thank several people who brought me to this day, I would like to tell you that when we have Mass in our chapel in Culver City, at the prayer of the faithful I almost always pray out loud for all those who work in the entertainment and information communications media industries, that they may promote the dignity of the human person in all the stories they tell.
By honoring human dignity all of us can contribute to making the world a better place because stories touch the heart. I believe that film and television can reveal God who makes us understand and accept our humanity and the community, the connectedness, of humankind through the grace of art that transcends the darkness. The light from the screen, any media screen, lets us see the faces of our brothers and sisters and connect to them and respond as authentic human beings and disciples. In one another, we find God.
I would like to thank my sister Emilie and brother-in-law Paul for being here, happy birthday to both of you! Who represent my very large family. I would like to thank my religious community of the Daughters of St. Paul of the last 43 years, keeping it real, who keep me real, my provincial Sr Margaret Sato is here from Boston.
I want to acknowledge two nuns who are present here who have been generous mentors to me over the last 20 years, Sr Elizabeth Thoman who introduced me to media literacy education and Sr Gretchen Hailer who wrote about it with me (and taught me how to begin each writing day with some new forms of computer Solitaire.)
Thank you, to Cardinal Mahony, who offers me and my community the opportunity to serve the people of God in this absolutely “splendid” archdiocese of Los Angeles through not only our book and media center but the Pauline Center for Media Studies – bringing media literacy education to catechesis and mission!
Thank you to Tom Shadyac, my friends, Marjiana of the International Press Academy, and terrific colleagues at CIMA who invited me to join them on this great adventure, the City of Angels Film Festival, Open Call, Catholic Communicators of Southern California, The Tidings…. And everyone in this large circle of friends, present and those present in spirit.