Catholicism, Apps and New Media

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!

I missed it last year, in Boston, and sadly I probably won’t be attending this year, either, but many bright and outstanding Catholic writers, bloggers and podcasters will be at this years conference on New Media and the Church in Kansas City, including our own Julie Davis and Pat Gohn! I can’t wait to hear about it all!

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.

Meanwhile:
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!

More churches are using social media too! In Wales, they’re saying hello, Facebook and Twitter!

And Hello, Archbishop Dolan!

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:

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About Elizabeth Scalia
  • BurgoFitzgerald

    I am such a fan of Father Barron, and I cannot wait for this book. I always tell people that I would love Bill Maher to sit down with Father Barron for a “discussion.” I wish Father Barron had been approached for Maher’s film “Religulous”

    Father Barron also does FANTASTIC movie reviews. You can find them on his Word on Fire site or his YouTube channel.

    I also love my Confession app for my iPod touch!

  • James

    Fr Barron truly is a wonderful messenger for The Church. I find myself listening to his youtube videos and his sermons on the Word On Fire site every day.

    It’s not only the intelligence and outstanding communication skills that make Fr Barron captivating- but it is also his gentle, humble, and joyous demeanor.

    It seems as if something wonderful is stirring in The Church lately. Out of the darkness of these last few years one can almost sense a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Christ built His Church specifically on the weakness of humanity, and it is in the worst moments of our weakness that we surrender ourselves to Him. The Church has been weakened, humbled, and forced to return to the truths that it was built upon. Fr Barron is a wonderful voice for that task. I pray that we all join the effort in our own daily lives.

    Peace.

  • http://www.dominicansinteractive.com Conor McDonough OP

    Great post – we have to work hard to enable Christ’s face to emerge among the plethora of internet images. Here’s an app that might interest OP fans: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/idoms-reader/id430826195

  • KellyO

    I’m a good friend of the Leinen brothers (and their mother and their wives) and we are all so proud of the amazing work they are doing with their apps – they now have novenas to St. Joseph and St. Gianna as well as Blessed John Paul II. I love that we Catholics can reach a beautiful prayer with the touch of a finger.


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