Why do we love Catholic blogs? Largely because maintaining one is a lot of work! When you find a good one, you know the person running it is dedicated and passionate about their mission. Each person is trying to use their knowledge, experiences, and perspective to communicate the truth and lead others closer to Jesus, one post at a time. We present, in alphabetical order by author, seven Catholic blogs to read in the New Year.
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Suscipe me by the Benedictine monks of Conception Abbey, Missouri
Suscipe me, Domine: Receive me, Lord — words central to the monastic profession. To be received by the Lord, to dwell with the Triune God in eternity, is the goal for each monk, the monastery, and indeed, for all the faithful.
According to Fr. Frowin Reed, Vocation Director, while growing up his Dad would frequently take him and his siblings window shopping, and sometimes if the display was clever, interesting, or different enough, they would go inside to look around. Fr. Frowin sees the blog in a similar way — some will ‘come inside’ to discuss, ask questions, or even visit the Abbey. Some will simply window shop, but will have a lasting impression none-the-less. Those are often the memories that God effectively converts to prevenient grace.
It’s a brand new blog, and while aimed at encouraging vocations to the Abbey, the Monks hope to engage the world at large: men and women, young and old, Catholic and non-Catholic. The blog offers discussions on art, liturgy, music, literature, etc. — topics relevant to living an authentic Christian life —with the opportunity for readers to enter into the conversation.
Evangelizing Cathechesis by Marc Cardaronella
After 20 years away from practicing Catholicism, Marc came back to the Church in 1997 with a desire to learn as much as he could. In 1998 he left the Navy to study with Dr. Scott Hahn at Franciscan University of Steubenville and was blessed to take almost every class Hahn offered. Marc eventually earned an M.A. in Theology & Christian Ministry with a Specialization in Catechetics and is now the Director of Religious Education at Exaltation of the Holy Cross Church in Champaign, IL. He also works for the Diocese of Peoria providing leadership, communication, and guidance to parish religious education programs.
Marc writes about evangelization, catechetics, and figuring out what works to bring people into union and intimacy with Jesus Christ in and through the Catholic Church. Part of what he hopes to accomplish with his blog is to share ideas and to learn and grow from others doing similar work across the country. One of the many things we love about Marc is he truly gives of his time and expertise to encourage and promote others in Catholic new media. You can also find Marc’s writing at Amazing Cathechists.
The Emmaus Road by Kristan Doerfler
Started in the summer of 2008, The Emmaus Road is a Catholic perspective featured on the Houston Chronicle’s online religion section, Houston Belief, a melting pot of faith (fellow bloggers include a Rabbi, a Pentecostal Minister, a Muslim, a Humanist, and others). Kristan’s goal is to provide the insight of a single, young, cradle Catholic striving to balance her faith with a full-time job, 2 dogs, and everyday adventures of life. Blogging has taught her how to share the faith objectively with compassion and accuracy (says she’s still learning!). Kristan has become friends with fellow members of this online community, most of whom are not Catholic — an incredible experience in the prayer of St. Francis “to seek not to be understood, but to understand.” And by respecting the faith background of the other bloggers, she has earned their trust which has helped her become a more effective evangelizer. Kristan fearlessly takes on a variety of topics such as abortion, the revised Roman Missal, same sex marriage, popular TV shows, and Catholic feast days.
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Surrender and Strength by Randy Hain
A convert to the Catholic Faith in 2006, Randy is on fire for Catholicism. He is the Senior Editor for The Integrated Catholic Life eMagazine, which he co-founded with Deacon Mike Bickerstaff in 2010. The blog’s title “Surrender and Strength,” is a frequent theme in Randy’s articles on faith, family, integration, leadership, and human capital. His first book, entitled “The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work”, was released in November 2011 by Liguori Publications and offers practical advice on how to integrate the Catholic faith with our work. The book also offers inspiration through the examples of real Catholics in the workplace. In addition to his Catholic ministry, writing, and the national executive search firm he leads, his proudest roles are that of husband and father! He has been married for 17 years and has two sons, ages 11 and 14.
9 Kid Fitness by Whitney Hetzel
She’s not an exercise physiologist, physical therapist, nor a certified personal trainer. But here’s who she is: a Catholic homeschooling mother of nine, marathon runner and triathlete who’s figured out how to make fitness a priority in an incredibly busy life — now that’s motivation!
Whitney joyfully shares her ideas about keeping it all in balance by writing about a variety of topics that help her live out her vocation as wife and mom to the fullest. Additionally, Whitney has built a supportive online community where people encourage one another to become healthier and happier. If you’ve resolved to achieve certain fitness goals in 2012, 9 Kid Fitness will be a great resource for you.
NealObstat Theological Opining by Dr. Tom Neal
With a B.A. in Philosophy, M.A. in Systematic Theology, and Ph.D in Religion, Dr. Neal is a prolific blogger, posting several educational, edifying, and thoughtful pieces weekly. He is also the Director of St. Joseph Educational Center, a Catholic adult faith formation resource center for the parishes of the Des Moines, Iowa region.
St. Joseph’s Vanguard by Devin Rose
And from the archives, our 2011 list
Head over to ConversionDiary.com every Friday to read more Quick Takes from bloggers around the world!