News
Fr. John Pungente,SJ (Photo by Michael Swan)
Jesuit Communication Project Celebrates 40 Years of Media Literacy in Canada

July 3, 2018 — The Jesuit Communication Project (JCP), headed by retiring Father John Pungente, SJ, is wrapping up 40 years of intelligent conversation about what we see, hear and read in modern media. 

A project of the Jesuits in English Canada, the JCP aimed to provide “a variety of resources and services for teachers, parents, church groups, school boards, students and other interested groups to encourage, promote and develop Media Education across Canada.”

Its 1987 “Media Literacy Resource Guide,” written by the Jesuit Communication Project with the Association for Media Literacy, was translated into French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese and shaped lesson plans around the world.

That success was followed up by television programs, websites, teachers’ guides and popular books that shaped how generations have thought about movies, media, technology and the power of stories in our culture.

At age 78, Fr. Pungente is stepping back from the Project, albeit with some difficulty.

“I have tried to follow the advice of Pope Francis — to walk beside the pilgrim, helping them to watch carefully and to think critically,” he said at a reception at Toronto’s Regis College attended by dozens of Jesuits and collaborators who worked with him.

Over the years the Jesuit Communication Project made its biggest impression outside the classroom with “Scanning the Movies,” a half-hour program which held a prime-time slot on Bravo! Canada from 1997 to 2008.

In 1997, “Scanning Television” was introduced into classrooms across the country, with 40 short videos and a comprehensive set of lesson plans that helped teachers get kids thinking critically about what they see on TV.

When “Scanning the Movies” finished its run, Fr. Pungente went on to host “Beyond the Screen” in 2008.

The JCP also helped organize the largest-ever education convention dedicated to media education. “Summit 2000: Children, Youth and the Media — Beyond the Millennium” brought 1,400 delegates from 55 countries to Toronto.

In 2014, the JCP and Fr. Pungente were among the first recipients of the McLuhan Institute’s Medium and Light Award. In 2017, Fr. Pungente was given a lifetime achievement award by the global Catholic film and media organization SIGNIS.

“Media literacy, media education, media studies, call it what you will … they are the path I’ve taken to this point in my life, hopefully with more to come,” said Fr. Pungente. “Virtual reality anyone?”

Fr. Pungente will continue to serve as editor of igNation, an English Canadian Jesuit blog.

[Sources: Catholic Register, Jesuits in English Canada]





Recent News

Nov. 12, 2018 - Fr. Daniel J. O’Brien SJ, was called to eternal life on Nov. 9, 2018. He was born on Aug. 31, 1928, in Hoboken, N.J., entered the Society of Jesus on Sept. 7, 1946, and was ordained on June 20, 1959. He pronounced his final vows on February 2, 1964.

November 11, 2018 — Jesuit universities are recognized by many veterans’ associations as exemplary when it comes to reaching out and helping veterans succeed.

November 9, 2018 — Speaking on behalf of all adult Catholics, Pope Francis formally closed the Synod of Bishops on Oct. 28 by asking young people for forgiveness.

Nov. 6, 2018 - In his November prayer video, Pope Francis asked us in joining him in praying for peace. “Let us pray together that the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict.”

November 5, 2018 — Today is the feast of All Saints and Blessed of the Society of Jesus, when we remember the Jesuits who have lived Ignatian values in inspirational ways.

Nov. 2, 2018 — This fall, six Jesuit high schools - Fairfield Prep, Fordham Preparatory School, Loyola School, Regis High School, Saint Peter's Prep, and Xavier High School - are competing to help fill local food banks and pantries with provisions for families in need.

Nov. 2, 2018 - Fr. Robert F. Taft, SJ, was called to eternal life on Nov. 2, 2018. He was born on Jan. 9, 1932, in Providence, R.I., entered the Society of Jesus on Aug. 14, 1949, and was ordained on June 7, 1963. He pronounced his final vows on August 15, 1966 in Heidelberg, Germany.

view all news

Search news







Campion Renewal Center
Campion Renewal Center, situated 20 miles west of Boston, is located in a peaceful setting that provides plenty of walking trails through the woods and fields.