By ERIKA ANDERSON, Special To The Bulletin | Published July 3, 2008
A panel of Catholic bloggers brought together several members of the Catholic community who post regularly on Web logs, or blogs—online journals that they share with the world through the Internet. Among the bloggers was moderator Lisa Hendey, who runs the site www.CatholicMom.com; Amy Welborn, who blogs at www.amywelborn.com; Jeff Miller, blogger at www.splendoroftruth.com; and Mark Shea, whose blog is located at www.markshea.blogspot.com.
Welborn, who is also the author of several Catholic books, said that she began blogging in 2001 as a way to share her faith.
“I think I, like anyone whose life has been touched by Christ, had the natural response to want to share that with others,” she said. “Plus, I have this mysterious compulsion to communicate. I truly believe that writing is what God put me on earth to do. Blogging, for me, is an extension of that. I feel blessed to live in a time where it is so easy to put your words out there.”
Miller, who is better known through his blog as the “Curt Jester,” gave a powerful testimony of his own conversion. After 40 years as an atheist, Miller found God through Catholicism.
“Coming into the faith, I wanted to explode with the joy of it, and that’s where the blog came from,” he said. “I have found a wonderful sense of community through blogging. It’s made me realize that the Catholic faith is not as (small) as I thought it was.”
Most blogs have sections where readers can comment about the author’s posts. This often leads to lively discussions, and sometimes heated debates, panelists said. But most agreed that respectful discussions offered opportunities for spiritual growth. Blogs as a whole, Shea said, help Catholics and non-Catholics to “really get to know the diversity of our church.”
For those interested in blogging about their faith, Shea suggests people write about their passions.
“Write about what interests you and nothing else. Your interest will be infectious and other people will want to read about it,” he said.
Welborn would like to see bloggers helping to raise awareness and funds for charity.
“There is so much need in the world. The Internet and blogs are a great way to bring that to people’s attention,” she said.
She also would like to see more priests, bishops and parish leaders blogging.
“Blogs would be great for a parish—a great way to get people involved,” she said.