Pauline Sister Rose Pacatte, moderator of the annual Congress Film Showcase, a sponsored project of the Center for Religion and Spirituality, was recently profiled in the New York Times. Titled “Acting as a Mediator at the Crossroads of Faith and Film,” the article takes a look at Sr. Pacatte’s work as a minister, popular film critic and scholar:
On the day before she entered a Catholic boarding school in August 1967, as a 15-year-old who felt the call to be a nun, Rose Pacatte indulged in a final fling with the secular world. She went to the local drive-in to see “The Dirty Dozen.”
While young Rose’s stirrings toward religious life had been inspired in part by films about nuns — “The Song of Bernadette,” “The Trouble with Angels” — she expected that her vows would mean forgoing popular culture. And surely convent life would make no allowance for anything like that final fling movie, Robert Aldrich’s World War II shoot-em-up.
Yet this past week, Sister Rose of the Daughters of St. Paul moved through Park City’s starry firmament as Sister Rose of Sundance, a veteran film critic participating in this year’s edition of the renowned indie festival. By the time Sundance ends on Sunday, she will have seen upward of 20 films, blogging and reviewing most of them for The National Catholic Reporter and joining in panel discussions for students from religious colleges and seminaries.
In all those ways, Sister Rose was serving not as a sentry protecting religious belief from cinematic product, but rather as a mediator helping to explain one to the other. As such, she embodies a departure both from the religious temptation to police popular culture, in the manner of the Roman Catholic Church’s now-defunct Legion of Decency, and the effort in fundamentalist circles to create a parallel universe of theologically safe movies, television and music.
Click here to read the full article at NYTimes.com. Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P. is an award-winning author and columnist, media literacy specialist, scholar and the current director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Los Angeles. Sr. Rose has served on juries of some of the world’s most prestigious film festivals, including Toronto, Venice and Berlin; as well as our local City of Angeles and Newport Beach Film Festivals. She is currently developing a series of courses on cinema and new media for LMU Extension’s new online catechist formation program, which will launch in early 2014.