Not to sound like an old lady, but I am quite taken with young Brandon Vogt, whose book, The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet will be released toward the end of summer. Brandon blogs at The Thin Veil, but he’s also a crackerjack reporter who quickly filed some excellent– really comprehensive — pieces for OSV during the Vatican/Blogger meet-up last month, so it’s not surprising that his book is a comprehensive and up-to-the-minute look at the state of Catholic communication within the whirls of new media. He managed to cull together the thoughts of quite a few well-known and emerging voices, and having read an advance copy, I really think every Catholic working from any aspect of alternative media is going to want to read The Church and New Media, so I hope the book does well. If this report is accurate, Catholic bloggers need to be completely on top of our games!
And because he’s just that up on things, Brandon has generously compiled a wonderful list of free-or-cheap Catholic Books to build your E-Book Library. Now, I’ve made a point of expressing my reservations about these newfangled e-readers (and Instapundit wonders about other aspects of technology that may be worrisome) but that being said, if you’re looking for great Catholic reading that you can load up and carry around (let’s face it, some of our stuff is thick, heavy and multi-volumned) then you’ll want this list!
Speaking of e-readers, I recently treated my iPad to the gorgeous app for DivineOffice.org, so I can keep my books at home and tidy while I’m on the run. I chose this app because it was the most complete — it includes the beautiful psalm prayers — and although I don’t always want to hear the group reading the psalms and prayers, on those occasions when I want to hear the bells, the hymns, the readers, I’ll have it all, at my fingertips. It’s not a free app — it cost I think $14.95 — but it seems worth it to me. Michael Potemra, meanwhile, recommends “a gorgeous Catholic Bible App”.
More apps for churches and nonprofits talked about here
Online Retreats: Some of you might recall that back in 2008, I hosted a six-day online retreat. I only did it once because, frankly, it was a lot of work, and I was exhausted and totally in need of a retreat, when it finished. My new format here at Patheos hasn’t really allowed me to fully rebuild the retreat, but that’s okay, because the Benedictine Nuns at Holy Trinity Monastery have an online retreat and some of their participants have given feedback. I don’t know how helpful the feedback is, but the retreat itself looks pretty substantial. I’m considering doing it!
Finally, I guested at Guadalupe Radio, talking to Irene Lagan and Eric Sammons about blogging and bishops and the dangers of the wild and woolly internet. Listening to myself, I see I am a bit of a motormouth, in truth, but they were very nice about it.
Vatican.va has redone its site, and it’s a bit easier to use, now, and we can look forward, very soon, to the launch of News.va — the Vatican’s new multi-media endeavor — very soon. I’m excited about that! The church is really very serious about coming to speed with new media and they deserve credit for how whole-heartedly they’re pursuing it. And props to our good pope, who is so encouraging of it.
And why shouldn’t he be? Look what such efforts are yielding!
I am in the middle of reading an advance copy of this book, and it is in a word, awesome. I’m going to be recommending it to you and bothering you with it in the future. And I want to see that incredibly beautiful-looking series, when it airs on PBS!
It is good to love the internet, so long as you Love God More!
Our “funnest” episode of “In the Arena” was on new media and the i-Confess app, a few months back: