World Communication Day & Promote Catholicism Day, part 2

Time for part 2 of the  Catholic media fest:

Then, on Thursday, May 24, please share the fruit of that day of prayer and silence with everyone, by posting your answer to the question: “What in Catholic Media has had an impact on me during the past year?” Share it on the New Evangelizers website at:

Half of you may have noticed, my efforts at internet silence were not so successful.  So this will be fruit-of-the-noise as well.

1.  Have I mentioned how much I love the printing press?

I’ve got an old version of one of these guys, not the hardback, and the spine’s peeling away.  I think most of my friends who do book repair are also solidly anti-Catholic, which makes it awkward to ask for advice.

2. SuperHusband swears by the iBreviary. It is indeed super cool.  I mean, yes, wow.  But I still prefer paper.

3. Review Books.  Yesterday in my failure to sit on my hands, I stumbled on RAnn’s list of Top Ten Sources for Review Books.  My current title from The Catholic Company is Benedict of Bavaria.  I picked it because that little voice told me I should, and my brain informed me that it was time I made myself read something substantial for a change, and this looked like it.  Ha!  I love being wrong.

“Substantial” is my code word for “thick” and “slog through long paragraphs written by people who need to get re-acquainted with the period key, and also not use the word ontological quite so much”.  Not so.  Eminentally readable, and super interesting — quite the departure from my usual association of Pope Topics = Too Smart for Me.  I love the printing press.  Love it.

4. Local Catholic Bookstores.  OSV Weekly has this cute little sidebar about “How to Read More.”  It’s like telling someone on a diet How to Eat More.  No, really, I read enough already.  If the meat thing doesn’t work out, Not Reading is my most painful alternate penance.

But the pleasure of the review programs sponsored by the big guys is that a) It supports the bookstores who provide for those who don’t have local bookstores b) sometimes I find a great book my local store doesn’t know about, and then I can pass it on, and c) I still have my book money left to spend with the local guys.

Support your local Catholic bookstore.  If you don’t have one, and your parish has a spare coat closet they can spare, consider starting one.  Nothing beats being able to browse in person, especially for kids.

5. A great book my local bookstore is about to find out about.  One of the tremendous pleasures of Catholic New Media has been getting to know other writers online.  Which is how I ended up with the announcement of this book in my inbox yesterday:

I can’t wait to the see the inside.

Another great moment in New Media e-mails yesterday . . . Julie Davis let me look at a sneak preview of a project she’s working on.  That’s all I can say right now.  But listen: There is a super-awesome, unbelievably gorgeous book in the works.  When the time comes, I will so tell the world it’s gonna be sort of annoying.  If your name is SuperMother-in-Law, I’m getting you one for Christmas.  (Not this Christmas.  You have to wait until it meets the printing press, which is still a ways off.)  With my own money.

6.  And that’s something I love about the Catholic new media: Catholic writers being able to connect with one another and collaborate on projects.  Writers in general can be a little paranoid.  What if someone else writes my book before I do?  In the Catholic world, yes that fear can be there.  But when your mission is  to evangelize, most of all there’s a tremendous sense of relief: Thank goodness someone wrote that book so I don’t have to.

When you’re still in that long aspiring-writer time of life, with 10,000 book ideas swirling in your head and a powerful desire to write them all, you don’t feel that way so much.  But once you actually go to write a whole book and make it see light of day, and you’ve gotten past the about the 4th draft of a completed manuscript, and discover how much work is required to write anything halfway decent . . . yeah, please.  Thank you all seventy-bazillion Catholic writers for being on the job.  You are so desperately needed.

7.  Um, there’s not much money in it.   Just so you know.  But listen, accounting is a great.  Engineering?  Janitorial work?  Lots of ways to support that writing habit.  And it’s all Catholic.


When I was first staying home to raise kids, I’d listen to Focus on the Family, and there was often mention of the incredible loneliness of the stay-at-home mom.  The internet has eased that isolation, especially for those of us introverts who would rather read and write than chit-chat at one of those mingle-y things.

Whenever you get to know somebody, no matter how, you only get to know part of them.  You never know the whole person. And at first, you only know a very small slice of the person.  The internet is only different in which slice you meet.

I love, LOVE, having a way to meet people from the inside out.  To not be distracted by their clothes or their accent or their weird habits or lack of weird habits.  To cut out the small talk and go straight to the issues . . . it takes so long at Donut Hour to find someone willing and able to hold a substantial conversation.  I love small blogs because you can have real conversation.  Yes, I’m like a moth to flame, leaving comments at Jen Fulwiler’s and Simcha’s and Msgr. Pope’s blogs.  But I always go to Darwin’s personal site, and not The American Catholic, because it’s small enough you can actually exchange ideas, and not just shout to the stadium.

So to you who write only very small blogs, let me say THANK YOU.   The big guys are doing an important work, and I’m grateful for them.  But small blogs fill a spot no one else can fill.  Keep going.


Also I beg you.  If it is at all within your power, please change your blog settings to allow the “subscribe to comments” feature.  Thank you.

10 thoughts on “World Communication Day & Promote Catholicism Day, part 2

      1. Okay, im out of town but will be back after tomorrow. Getting my boys Wednesday and I get to use comp time Th and Fri… so they might request the usual “can we go to Miss Jen’s house?!” LOL

        1. They should come to Miss Jen’s house. Totally. Though half the back yard is still off-limits from the septic tank work. But the castle’s open, and I’ll even clear out the stinging insects before they come. Late next week would be awesome.

  1. You are too, too kind … and right on the mark about small bloggers, working to afford writing habits, and all that jazz. Meanwhile, I appreciate your blog and you, just the same as you appreciate the Darwins. Though I appreciate them too! 😀

    1. It’s mutual, hehe. Long list of quiet-combox bloggers I adore. One of these weeks I’ll have to make a list. The Darwins came to mind because it’s an example of a case where I can comment on the same post either at the high-traffic place or the quiet place, and it’s far more pleasant to converse where you can hear yourself type.

  2. What a great post. I liked this especially:

    “So to you who write only very small blogs, let me say THANK YOU. The big guys are doing an important work, and I’m grateful for them. But small blogs fill a spot no one else can fill. Keep going.”

    That is really true. There are certain types of discussions that you simply can’t have on blogs where you have tons of different people from all different backgrounds weighing in.

    Also, thanks for your comments at my place! I always enjoy them. 🙂

    1. I think it’s the quantity. I’d estimate based on combox representation that 40% of my readers are not Catholic, or not particularly Catholic. And 90% disagree with me large chunks of the time, and know how to put me in my place. :-). [Alternate interpretation: 90% of my readers recognize me for the genius I am and feel no need to add to my amazing insights, and the other 10% are trouble makers. I think that’s probably not the correct interpretation.]

      But the cool thing about a quiet combox is that you can have conversations that move the discussion forward. I like also here in particular that most of my commenters are people I know, either in real life or from getting to know each other over time on our blogs or elsewhere on the internet. So I remember the person, and don’t say as many idiotic things as I otherwise would, because I know there’s a bigger story than that one comment. [Because yes, I’m shallow enough to forget there’s a person behind *every* comment, which is why the Register combox is a near occasion of sin for me.]

      I think a few years ago I would have enjoyed the free-for-all debates at yours and similar columns more, when I had more time for that, so I’m glad there are others willing and able to jump in. And I love the waves of pure silliness that can only crest so magnificently when you manage to attract so many Catholic geek-people to a single location, and make LOTR puns.

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