Sr. Nancy Usselmann is a member of the Daughters of St. Paul, women religious who live and communicate Christ within the media culture. She is among the #MediaNuns who engage the popular culture with Gospel values. Even before becoming a Sister she was a lover of books, movies, pop music, and Jesus Christ, so nothing better than becoming a #MediaNun!
Sr. Nancy has degrees in Communications Arts and Business Management as well as a Masters in Theology and the Arts. She is certified in Catechetics and Media Literacy Education, being a Media Literacy Education Specialist. In her 30 years as a Daughter of St. Paul, Sr. Nancy has worked extensively in the creative aspects of social media development, advertising, radio and television production, marketing, retail management and media administration. She has given numerous workshops and retreats around the country on media mindfulness, theology of popular culture and faith formation and the media to youth, young adults, catechists, teachers and media professionals. She is a member of NAMLE (National Association for Media Literacy Education), SIGNIS (World Catholic Association for Communicators), CIMA (Catholics in Media Associates), and a contributing theologian at THEOCOM (Theology and Communications in Dialogue) sponsored by the Vatican and USCCB.
She is currently the Director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Los Angeles, which is a center that encourages and develops media mindfulness in culture, education and faith formation. Sr. Nancy has developed a college curriculum on Theology of Popular Culture and is a regular contributor to Fuller Theological’s Brehm Center Reel Spirituality.
Living the Good Life: Virtue Ethics in Social Media
Social media's use for information and self-expression can sometimes become an outlet for angry rants, misinformation and indiscretion. Media mindfulness is built on the foundation of critical inquiry, bringing one's values into conversation with the media messages. But what do we really value? Are those values congruent with the virtues? Virtues are habits of being that promote respect as the core of a happy life. How can we live the good life within a digital culture?
Discipleship Today: Becoming Cultural Mystics
How can we live our faith within the secular popular culture? It is about being mystics who see God's grace present in all human longings and desires and offer the culture a soul. We can be that transformative presence in the world today, if we reflect on our incarnational and sacramental imaginations, letting Christ speak through us for a culture that seeks communion, connection and purpose.
Media Mindfulness: Faith Formation In a Digital Age
While reviewing the Church’s understanding of media, especially in catechesis, the participants learn media mindfulness skills for their own media consumption.
Forming Catholic Cultural Imaginations
Catholics look at the world, arts and culture through a unique lens. The qualities of sacramentality, mediation and communion provide that lens in which we view popular film and examine how our Catholic imagination can offer the world a redeeming perspective.
Cinematic Retreats/Parish Missions
The Shack: Cinematic Retreat—Using the film The Shack as a catalyst for prayer and reflection, we delve together into the deeper meaning of the film and its message for our lives. Connected with Scripture and Catholic prayer experiences, this retreat is like none you made before!
"The Way": Cinematic Pilgrimage—Take a virtual pilgrimage on the Camino to Santiago de Compostela using the film, The Way. This retreat/parish mission guides participants on a spiritual journey through prayer, Scripture, film and reflection. A truly unique spiritual experience!
Cinema Divina Retreats
Based on the ancient form of praying the Scriptures, Lectio Divina, this retreat uses film as the text to reflect upon along with the Scriptures. Popular film speaks to humanity's deepest longings and these are brought to prayer as we evaluate our own profoundest desire for God. Using popular films we enter into the culture’s art as a way to communicate our yearning for God.
Topics for Youth:
- Living the Good Life: Virtues and Social Media
- Tuning in to the Top 10: Pop Music and Media Mindfulness
- The Prayer Process: Why Pray?
- Our Friends, the Saints
- and more!