For the first ten years of my ministry in the Church, I functioned as a Cantor at Cathedral liturgies and learned early on to appreciate and love those rituals that are particular to the diocesan Mother Church. The yearly Chrism Mass is one of those forgotten or unseen by most regular Catholics because it it is only celebrated at a Cathedral and usually at a time deemed most inconvenient for working folks. Originally meant for the morning of Holy Thursday, at least in the United States it is usually moved to an early time during Holy Week to allow all clergy in a diocese to attend without having to hurry back to their parishes for the evening start of Triduum. Of the six Dioceses that are within an hour of my home, two of them (Providence & Springfield) celebrated this ancient rite on Monday evening while the other four (Boston, Fall River, Norwich and Worcester) chose various times on Tuesday for their rituals. This year, due to my work schedule, I was unable to attend in person but thanks to those wonderful folks at CatholicTV (you really should sign their petition to bring that great channel to your cable system or, better yet, watch them on the web) I was able to record and playback the Mass yesterday while I was home practicing for the three days ahead.
Some of the best ideas in this life start out as throwaway asides - you know, the "yeah, like that would really work" or "wouldn't it be funny if we could..." type of statements made casually to friends or colleagues. However, it takes a lot of chutzpah to actually follow through with what seems like a cockamamie notion and turn it into something that could help others find Christ and His Church. Well, folks, about 10 days ago Greg Willits of The Catholics Next Door fame (Sirius 159/XM 117 -- gregandjennifer.com) started musing about a day set aside to have everyone who possibly could promote Catholic New Media across the vast Internet universe. What may have started as an off handed comment on their radio show has now turned into a full-fledged media event complete with a contest to win a free iPad 2 (how totally New Media/Internet-ish!). Seriously, on this day 3/15/2011 all of us who either produce Catholic Media, consume Catholic Media or desire to know more about Catholic Media are being commissioned to "use Facebook, Twitter and blogs to promote all the great Catholic content that is out there on the internet." Tall order? You betcha! But according to Greg, "there’s strength in numbers - let’s get the word out on one day about Catholic New Media.”
Ok, Mr. Willits, you have thrown down a mighty heavy gauntlet but as someone who is not afraid of a challenge, I am picking it up and running with it! The assignment is to "list their favorite 3 blogs, 3 podcasts, 3 other media, 3 random Catholic things online, and their own projects" (and the number 3 is very Trinitarian, Greg - good touch!). I tried to think of sites and media that are not as well known but then I suppose what will be very common to some may be very new to others. No matter - it's the "getting the word out" part that important so here are my selections with a little bit of commentary on the side:
Blogs -- Let Us Walk Together: Thoughts of a Catholic Bishop - this is a relatively new endeavor by an old friend who recently was ordained auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Bishop Chris Coyne, a definite overachiever, has also started a podcast to go with it - how many bishops do YOU know would even try something like that in their first few weeks?
Gotta Sing, Gotta Pray - Dr. Jerry Galipeau from World Library Publications shares reflections on current events in the Church and in the world that may be of particular interest to those serving the Church, including a focus on the upcoming translation of the Roman Missal every Tuesday and Thursday.
Whispers in the Loggia - who doesn't love a good Vatican insider? Rocco Palmo has kept us all informed about the goings on in Rome and at home here in the US for quite some time. His blog was my first taste of Catholic New Media and one I read constantly.
Podcasts -- (can all be found at iTunes) The Break with Fr. Roderick (www.sqpn.com) - my first and favorite Catholic podcast!
Busted Halo Cast (www.bustedhalo.com) - Fr. Dave Dwyer, Brittany & the intern du jour answer questions from young (and not so young) faith-seekers.
Word on Fire (www.wordonfire.org)- one of the best preachers on the planet, Fr. Robert Baron, explains it all for you! Best 15 minutes of your week!
Other Media -- The Catholics Next Door (Sirius 159/XM 117 The Catholic Channel from 10am - 1pm EDT daily) - I signed up for Sirius Satellite Radio just to hear them on the Catholic Channel after discovering their Rosary Army podcast. Best money I spend every month, that is, when I can find the time to listen. Darn parish job... ;-)
The Catholic Guy Show (Sirius 159/XM 117 The Catholic Channel from 4-7pm daily) - I must admit I didn't like Lino Rulli at first but he has grown on me (hey oh!). Best surprise I discovered on the Catholic Channel (it's a celebration!). Maybe someday I'll call in and take on Fr. Rob at "Do you watch more TV than a Catholic Priest?"
Grace Before Meals - Fr. Leo Patalinghug is reaching families through their stomaches - sorta like Jesus did. Check out his website, buy his cookbook, invite him to your parish. You won't be disappointed - we certainly were't!
Random catholic things -- since I'm a Mac girl then how about APPS! My 3 must have apps would be:
Divine Office - an audio with text version of the daily Liturgy of the Hours beautifully done and great for half hour commutes.
iCatholic - Catholic TV's Digital Magazine complete with series listings and informative articles (do YOU have Catholic TV on your cable system? If not, sign their petition!)
iMissal - all the readings for everyday of the liturgical year and now includes Mass videos from Catholic TV! (looks really great on the iPad)
Now, I'm supposed to toot my own horn as well so toot I will! The Rite Stuff is a new blog dedicated to all things liturgical, ritual and sacramental -- including and particularly the upcoming changes to the Roman Missal. I've also toyed with the idea of a podcast to go along with it ("anything you can do, I can do better..." - inside joke) but for now, given my real life restrictions, I think the blog will be all I can handle. If you'd like to see where I minister and what we do then point your browser to sstandctiverton.org and check out the dual parishes of St. Theresa and St. Christopher in picturesque Tiverton, Rhode Island. We're neighbors to the iPadre himself, Fr. Jay Finelli (ipadre.net or holyghostcc.org) so go and check him out as well!
Well, I've certainly done my part - it's up to you to check out some or all of my suggestions. Good luck and God Bless! (and ya'll come back now, ya hear!)
...or want to watch the replay on Catholic TV with "color commentary" then click below! It was a time of great praise & prayer as an old friend became, of all things, a Bishop! Who knew? Enjoy! http://www.coveritlive.com/index.php?option=com_altcaster&task=siteviewaltcast&altcast_code=8c7a77130b