Sr. Elizabeth Thoman altered the course of my life

Sr. Elizabeth Thoman in the late 1980s (NCR photo/Ira Rifkin)

Appreciation

Sr. Elizabeth Thoman, a member of the Congregation of the Humility of Mary and a woman religious who changed my life, died Dec. 22 at Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston, Iowa. She was 73.

I first met Liz in 1990 in Portland, Oregon, at a meeting of Unda-USA (now SIGNIS), the Catholic association for radio and television. Liz gave a presentation on the magazine she had founded and published, Media & Values, and she spoke about media literacy: the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media in a variety of forms.

I had never heard of media literacy before. As a Daughter of St. Paul, I was intrigued, since part of our mission of evangelization is to practice and teach critical thinking about media. The challenge was that no one in the congregation had yet figured out how to do that in an organized, systematic way.

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