Saturday, March 22, 2008

I added The Deacon's Bench to my sidebar Long Island Catholic Blogs, (which includes a few from Queens and Brooklyn). This is a great new blog that I read from Deacon Greg Kendra of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Catholic Church in Forest Hills. Deacon Greg will be chanting the beautiful Exultet tonight

The Winners of the 2008 Catholic Blogs Awards have been announced! What Does The Prayer Really Say? swept many of the categories. I didn't win anything in this contest but it was probably because I stumbled when trying to answer the question: why can't one-fifth of Americans locate the US on a map.
The Long Island Catholic has been printing columns by Catholic teenagers recently. (Most have been from Catholic school students so the paper put out a call for public school teens to write.) This week the teen writer describes her and some friends meeting the Sisters of Life and preparing food for an upcoming profession of vows ceremony. Her wonderful column describes her impression of the Sisters, the Mass and vow ceremony, and the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer in Manhattan. St. Vincent is supposed to be one of the most beautiful in the city, I have to get to see it soon! The column is well worth a read:

Of sweet potatoes, roller hockey and joy-filled faith
Speaking of the latest Long Island Catholic edition, Kathleen Gallagher writes about the New York State Catholic Conference making a video to educate people about (former) Gov. Eliot Spitzer's radical Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act. This act would require Catholic hospitals to provide abortions by making abortion a "fundamental right". The video was produced by Telecare (good job!) and put on You Tube. Gallagher's article mentions what she calls the "viral effect" of the blogosphere as the You Tube video was posted or linked to on the blogs (here is the link). She says:

"In less than a week, our video had enjoyed more than 8,000 views, or “hits” as they are known in the business. We received phone calls and e-mails from all over the country about our video, from Catholics and non-Catholics alike. We were written up in The New York Times and the Daily News. The original message of our video spread like wildfire, far beyond the borders of the Church’s typical communication methods. I had never experienced the “viral effect” of the Internet quite like that before."

We Catholic bloggers have experienced this effect for years but preferred to call it "releasing the power of the blogs" a term which I believe is attributed to Mark Shea, who is one of the most popular Catholic bloggers. The Catholic blogs have had some impact in concrete ways and the NYS Catholic Conference was very wise to tap into this great communications tool. "St. Blogs Parish" has been a great tool for Catholics to spread the word as well as spread The Word since 2002. Some examples of what the article calls the 'viral effect' would be:
removing pro-abortion links from a Jesuit University
linking to a video of a Bishop in California treat a woman rudely for kneeling for communion
pointing out the anti-Catholic nature of the movie The Golden Compass
pointing out the USCCB's positive review of the Golden Compass and Brokeback Mountain
spreading the word about a movie Mel Gibson was making about Christ's Passion a year ahead of its release
spreading the word about Summorum Pontificum a year ahead of its release

There were many more I cannot remember and I am too lazy to link to any of these right now. But the Church is wise to use "St. Blog's" because it has proven to be a good way to spread good or bad news.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Here is another blog by a Catholic on Long Island:

Tales From The Bonny Blue House

The author is Mary Ellen Barrett who writes a column for The Long Island Catholic.