LMU Forum on Media Ethics & Social Responsibility: "Catholic Identities and Screen Representations"

Popular film and television narratives tend to shy away from religious topics and characterizations, and when featured often rely on stereotypic tropes and caricature. This panel assesses why this may be the case and considers the most challenging issues of telling the story of Catholic identities and Catholicism in popular film, television programming, and documentaries. Discussion begins by considering recent examples of the most problematic and most encouraging screen representations of Catholic identities and Catholicism. Looking to the future, panelists consider what stories most need telling about Catholic identities and Catholicism in today’s popular film, television programming, and documentaries, the outlets that may be most promising for those stories, and how they might best be marketed. 

Brian Treanor, LMU Professor of Philosophy & Casassa Chair of Catholic Social Values, and Director of the LMU Academy of Catholic Thought & Imagination, moderates a Panel discussion.


  • Chris Donahue is an Academy and Emmy Award winning independent and studio producer, President of West Main Street Productions and formerly President of Paulist Productions and Executive Director of the HUMANITAS Prize. 
  • Fr. Jim McDermott, S.J. is a screenwriter who has worked as a sta writer on the TV show Preacher and developed a show about an exorcist for AMC and a seasoned journalist who writes regularly for America Magazine
  • Fr. Luís Proenca is Associate Professor of Production in the SFTV at LMU, a noted lmmaker and director whose documentaries about the Portuguese community in the U.S. have been broadcast over five continents.
  • Michael McNaught is Assistant Director of LMU’s Center for Religion & Spirituality, head of marketing & communications for LMU Extension, and President of Catholics in Media Associates (CIMA). 
  • Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P. is founding Director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies, past President of Catholics in Media Associates, and an award-winning lm journalist and author on lm, scripture, and media literacy. 
  • Paul Monson is Assistant Professor of Church History at Sacred Heart Seminary & School of Theology (Milwaukee) and has researched Hollywood’s infatuation with nuns and Vatican II at the Academy’s Beverly Hills archives. 

Free Admission and Open to Public and Campus Communities. Facilitated by the Von der Ahe Chair Program in Communication and Ethics in the College of Communication & Fine Arts and the School of Film & Television and LMU’s Academy for Catholic Thought & Imagination with co-sponsorship by the Departments of Philosophy and Theological Studies, and Marymount Institute for Faith, Culture and the Arts. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 4:30pm

University Hall, Ahmanson Auditorium
1 LMU Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045