Look Out! Catholic Bloggers Take Baltimore by Storm!

The blogger panel: Bishop Christopher Coyne, Rocco Palmo, Mary DeTurris Poust and Terry Mattingly

The Bishops and Bloggers Meeting was a blast!

The meeting began with a presentation of the just-released report by CARA (the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate), entitled “Catholic New Media Use in the United States, 2012.”

The researchers interviewed 1,047 self-identified Catholics in September 2012 on the topic of their media use.    There was some concern that the Church may not be connecting with its public as well as it might be.  As evidence, presenter and study author Dr. Mark Gray cited CARA’s research in 2012 which, when compared with a 2004 study, showed a decline of 37% in Google searches using the word “Catholic.”

The  jury’s still out on the report, I think.  I raised my eyebrows at several of its findings; for example, I was surprised by the claim that most people turn to their parish bulletin as their primary source of information about the Catholic faith.  More about this later, once I’m back in the relative calm of my home office.

Here I am with blogger extraordinaire Brandon Vogt, one of my good buddies from Rome 2011.









Four excellent panelists responded to the study’s findings:  Bishop Christopher Coyne, Rocco Palmo, Mary DeTurris Poust and Terry Mattingly.  Then the floor was opened to comments and questions: bishops to bloggers, and bloggers to bishops.  The dialogue was energetic and productive.

How fitting for a merry Band of Bloggers:  We ended the afternoon ended with an early dinner at the James Joyce Irish Pub, near our hotel.

Representing the Patheos Catholic Portal (L-R): Lisa Hendey, Deacon Greg Kandra, Leah Libresco, Mark Shea, Tom McDonald and (down in front) Kathy Schiffer


Elizabeth Scalia, missing because of a delayed flight, how we missed you!

Thanks to Lisa Hendey, my roommate from the Vatican Blogfest last May and again this year, and to Tom McDonald (God and the Machine) for sharing their excellent photos.


What a group! L-R: Lisa Hendey, Thomas Pringle, Rocco Palmo, Nick Thomm, Mark Shea, Kevin Knight, Brandon Vogt, Steve Nelson, Tom McDonald, Leah Libresco, Deacon Greg Kandra, Mary DeTurris Poust, and Kathy Schiffer

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  • http://www.bede.org Stefanie

    I don’t know what it says about me, but I knew the names of 80% of the folks in the pic — without reading the caption. Must be because they are on my ‘ vocations’ daily prayer list. :) Looks like fun times were had by all! And yes, I do consider Catholic bloggers to be the missionaries of today — as vital in this new internet frontier as the Jesuits had been a few hundred years ago.

  • Joe

    Admittedly, I have not yet had the time to review available literature nor been home long enough to catch up on the USCCB Conference…
    After returning to the Church about 15 years ago, I have become a very active Catholic that tries to stay educated on the faith. I have taught CCD from 1st grade thru high school and am currently immersed in a Catholic history class at my Parish. There is one constant I have found…many, many Catholics DO NOT know their faith and it is heartbreaking…and sometimes stunning. I was hit between the eyes a couple of weeks ago when an elderly lady (I am 52 so that might give you an idea of how old she might have been) told me two things: (1) There are more important issues in the election than abortion….(2) We are not a Christian nation. Then, this afternoon, I turn on the USCCB Conference on EWTN and the main topic is poverty and the economy…two great subjects… but what about LIFE ISSUES!?!?!? What about a reinvigorated catechesis of ALL Catholics. I was sickened when pulpit announces began the Sunday before the election…why aren’t there pulpit announcements addressing our Catholic faith every Sunday!?!?! 50% of Catholics voted for a baby-killer. Why? Because we are too busy worrying about donuts after Mass, the next EDGE/LIFE TEEN display; feeling good about holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer, cupping our hands into the perfect cradle for Jesus during Communion, or waving to everyone in the Sanctuary during the Sign of Peace.. In the meantime, there are liturgical abuses that go unaddressed…I know from first hand witness…spoke up… and the silence was deafening…there are politicians who bring their evil positions into our Churches, stain our faith and Sanctuaries with their filthy ideas, and then are allowed to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Leading up to the election, there were more non-Catholics with a firmer grasp on the issues than Catholics. Absolutely heart wrenching. I could go on and on. But won’t. I absolutely love the Catholic faith. I truly agonize over the lack of piety and reverence many Catholics give our Church anymore. I pray I can discern what I can do to help…and pray also that thru these blogs (Praise God to each of you faith-filled bloggers), eyes begin to open.

  • richard

    Looking forward to the follow-up of this meeting.

  • Carl

    I think CARA is looking at the wrong sources. I very rarely Google anything Catholic. Why? Because I have a Catholic home page (wau.org), have New Advent on my favorites bar, have forty Catholic sites on my favorites (Religion) including the Catholic Blog Directory. With these resources at my fingertips, I don’t have to do much googling.

  • http://linenonthehedgerow.blogspot.com Richard Collins

    Awaiting the announcement from Eccleston Square regarding holding a meeting with English and Welsh Catholic bloggers…..maybe in 2050?

  • tradtrub

    OK neocon bloggers, I would love to know if just one of you, in all of your infinite self promoting and marketing wisdom asked the bishops just one question.
    Nulla salus extra ecclisiam?
    Of course not.
    Patheos = all faiths equal = new modernist evangelization= fail

    Have a great self congratulatory year.

  • http://tweet tony mangini

    all bloggers should should “rain”on bill o’reilly with faith filled opinions

    • Joe

      …and Hannity…

  • Ed Hamilton

    Google supports gay marriage, so I switched to Bing. Also, “Catholic” could be less searched because the media’s interest in the priest scandal has died down in the U.S. I guess you all would have thought of that though. 37 percent is an interesting trend, but more detail may be needed as to why.