Since so many of the Google searches that lead readers to my blog appear to be from new Catholics or people discerning Catholicism, I thought I would post a few of the Catholic blogs that are in my RSS reader. I hope they can be a valuable resource to others in my position.
Catholicism LiveJournal community – OK, so it’s not in my RSS reader, and it’s not technically a blog (though you could argue it’s a group blog), but this LJ comm taught me a lot about Catholicism when I was seeking to learn more about it (though it’s no substitute for speaking with a priest and getting a copy of the Catechism). And the discussion is much more civil and charitable than your average LJ comm. (Maybe it’s the people?) You’ll have to become a free member of LiveJournal to join.
A Minor Friar – Brother Charles is a Roman Catholic religious of the Order of Friars Minor (i.e. Franciscans). Good for an always insightful look into the life of a mendicant religious with grace and humor.
Be Thou My Vision – Matt is a postulant with the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin of the Province of Saint Mary (northeast U.S.). Good for learning about one young man’s entrance into religious life (also with a good dose of humor).
Becoming Catholic: The (re)formation of a Protestant mind – Deanna is a recent Catholic convert (as of Easter 2009) from the Presbyterian Church (USA), the same denomination from which I’m converting. The blog’s not updated terribly often, but what I’ve read I’ve liked. If you enjoy conversion stories, and especially if you’re converting from Protestantism, I think you’ll enjoy it.
De cura animarum – Father Jeffrey Steel is another new convert to Catholicism, along with his family, this time from the Anglican Church, in which he served as a priest. Always thoughtful posts from a follower in Newman‘s footsteps.
Godzdogz – The blog of the English Dominican Studentate (mainly housed at Blackfriars here in Oxford, I believe). There are four main topics of posts: Preaching, Prayer/Liturgy, Study, and Community Life. They’re currently doing a series on the life of virtue that I’m enjoying. (Why are young Dominicans calling themselves “Godzdogz”? Go here for the answer.)
Oblate Blog – John is a Benedictine oblate, and his website Oblate Spring is the best resource site about Benedictine oblates I’ve found. John posts about life as an oblate and resources for oblates and those seeking to learn more about the Benedictine way of life.
Psalm 46:11 – A Journey to Truth – Michael Hallman is a Catholic seminarian in the pre-novitiate with the Order of St Augustine. He returned to the Church four years ago after being away for 10 years. I started reading about his journey online when he was applying to the Order and posting about the process in the Catholicism LJ community. I’ve since followed him onto his blog as he has started on the path to becoming an Augustinian priest. Michael’s posts are always full of heart and love for his Order and the Church.
Roman Catholic Vocations – News about vocations and resources for those discerning a vocation to the priesthood, diaconate, consecrated life, or marriage (and I would add the single life). Often, during a journey across the Tiber, a person is met by challenges to the vocations they thought were open to them, and comes across new ones they hadn’t thought about. It’s worth exploring the different vocations to know what is open to you, and to think about where you might be called. If you do feel a call toward the priesthood, diaconate, or religious life, be prepared to spend a couple of years as a practicing Catholic first, to allow the initial “honeymoon” period of conversion to cool off, and ensure that you will be discerning that vocation with a cool mind.
Standing on My Head – Father Dwight Longenecker, like Father Jeffrey Steel, is a married former Anglican clergyman (raised Evangelical) turned Catholic convert. Fr Longenecker has been ordained to serve as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church (through a special Vatican dispensation for married former Anglican clergymen), and currently serves as a chaplain to a Catholic school in South Carolina. He is also a prolific author and fan of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, and Hilaire Belloc. He also studied theology at Oxford, so you can see why he’s on my blogroll. A highlight of Fr Longenecker’s blog is his fictional “guest bloggers,” including MSM correspondent Todd Unctuous, 8-year-old Caitlin O’Rourke, and Salamanca University alum (in Ecclesiastical Haberdashery) Mantilla the Hon, among others. Father’s blog provides a nice soupçon of dry wit.
The Deacon’s Bench – Permanent deacon Greg Kandra serves in the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, and “ponders the world” from his new digs at Beliefnet.com. Deacon Greg is liable to write about most any topic related to Catholicism, and his posts are always good for a smile and a laugh. (Can you tell I like my bloggers to make me laugh?)
So there’s my Catholic blog round-up, in no particular order but the one in which my RSS reader lists ’em (except for the LJ comm). Go forth and read!
ETA: Dane Falkner asked me to mention his creation DivineOffice.org. It features a podcast (available on the website or on iTunes) of the day’s Invitatory Psalm and Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. There are also tabs for the Office of Readings and Daytime Prayer, but don’t count on finding material there most days. It’s not a blog, but it is a valuable resource if you would like help praying the Divine Office, especially on-the-go. They also offer a Liturgy of the Hours app for the iPhone. I personally prefer using Universalis when home and my bound breviary when traveling, because they include all the Hours and because I prefer to read the psalms and prayers aloud myself and not join in with a recording. However, I do enjoy being able to listen to a choir sing the hymn (this evening’s is “God So Loved the World” sung by the Glasgow Phoenix Choir), and if I were a more auditory/communal-type person I would probably use this instead, at least for the major Hours. They’re doing a good work, and I offer it here in case it’s of benefit to you.