Modern Media: Facing the Dangers, Opportunities, and Responsibilities

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Did you know that children consume up to 53 hours of media a week? Adults consume anywhere from 40 to 44 hours a week - as much or more than a full-time job! But so many of us feel overwhelmed by the onslaught of information.

We might ask any of these questions:

  • What can we do to manage the flow of information better?
  • How do we protect ourselves and our families, and still enjoy healthy media usage?
  • What can we do to stand up against media that does more harm than good?

After all, most of us know that what we see, read, and hear directly affects how we behave. And we know that the violence, sexual content, and bias of the media are a constant threat to a good Christian life. Yet we can't "throw the baby out with the bathwater." Learning to control the media in our lives, and even use it for good, is absolutely vital to protecting our children and our own integrity. 

In this elective, popular speaker and author Teresa Tomeo highlights the powerful influence of media messages in all our lives. Many Catholics are not aware of the extensive and instructive teaching the Church has to offer about modern technology and media, especially to families with young children. Teresa gives you proactive and timely tools, including a step-by-step plan to begin managing that media influence wisely.

Most modern popes have had plenty to say about media usage, media influence, and media and the family. Find out what the Church teaches through the works of:

  • Pope Paul VI
  • Blessed John Paul II
  • Pope Benedict XVI

Learn about easy-to-read Church documents on the subject including Vatican II's Inter Mirifica, Bl. John Paul II's Rapid Development, and numerous World Communications Day statements from all these popes.

The Church calls on us to manage the media wisely and to engage the culture through the mass media as an effective means of evangelization. We can all be part of the "Great Communication Commission" as part of the New Evangelization and use the media to spread the Gospel throughout the world.





Lecture 1: The Church’s Wealth of Wisdom on the Media
The media is so prevailing in our society, and its technologies are ever-changing. The media was a problem and challenge 50 years ago — and it is even more so now. Nevertheless, if you live in the world, it seems unavoidable. Join your professor in this series as she discusses the need to limit the usage and restrict the content of the media used in our homes and the culture at large, as well as the goods that can come from the media and how we can use it to evangelize the culture.

Lecture 2: Media’s Powerful Influence on Your Family and the World
In this lecture, consider the positive and negative impact of media on our lives. We all know we spend too much time on our devices, but what does this excess time spent on our devices do to us? Learn how the overuse of the media and our devices can alter how you think, commit to relationships, process information, and more. The Church does a great job of guiding us on how to interact with the media as Catholics — but what does she tell us about it?

Lecture 3: Managing Lecture 3: Media at Home and in our Culture
Join Teresa Tomeo in this lecture discussing what she calls the “two-pronged approach,” which explores how we can improve the media climate at home and in our culture. The Catholic Church teaches us that the parents are the primary catechetics. Therefore, it is the parent’s responsibility in the home to take control of these media outlets as they affect their families and, thus, the entire world. Discover the simple ways to make a difference in the culture.

Lecture 4: The Great Lecture 4: Communications Commission
We have discussed the dangers of media and the need to limit its usage and content in our homes and culture. In this lecture, we will move on to the following question: How can we use the media for good? We are called by the Great Commission to bring the gospel into all parts of the world — can the media be used effectively to evangelize the world?



 Teresa Tomeo is a bestselling author, syndicated Catholic talk show host, and speaker with more than thirty years of experience in print and broadcast media. Her weekday radio program, Catholic Connection is a co-production of Ave Maria Radio and EWTN. Tomeo is a columnist and special correspondent for OSV Newsweekly. She was named a Vatican conference speaker and conference delegate and spoke at the 2013 conference the “Rights of the Family and the Challenges of the Contemporary World” sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Family. Tomeo participated in the Vatican Women’s Congress in 2008. She speaks throughout North America and also leads overseas retreats and pilgrimages annually.

She publishes many best selling books such as: Extreme Makeover: Women Transformed by Christ, Not conformed to the Culture; and Noise: How our Media Saturated Culture Dominates Lives and Dismantles Families. Teresa also hosts a monthly webinar, Catholic Leaders Webinar Series: Media Matters, produced by Our Sunday Visitor.

Teresa Tomeo
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