“Gain a world of followers and lose your own soul…”

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Pope Benedict XVI famously urged Catholic clergy, religious and laity to get on to the web, learn how to use it and then "give the internet a soul", and it's certainly gratifying to see the many fervent Catholic folk who have taken his words to heart, here at Patheos and elsewhere. But working, even catechizing, online comes with its own spiritual dangers -- sins so easily fallen into that they almost don't seem like sins at all; they become "just a thing that happens on the 'net." Sort of … [Read more...]

The Catholic Book Blogger comes to Patheos!

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Back when Strange Gods was first released, I got an email from a friendly fellow named Pete Socks whose site, The Catholic Book Blogger, was about six months old. He gave my book a spanking review and also shot me some fun and interesting questions for an interview, and I began to follow Pete's work. I was impressed with his energy, his willingness to read and read when the books sometimes flow in more quickly than most of us can manage them, and to conduct lively give-aways. Along with … [Read more...]

Margaret Rose Realy Nominated for a Frankie!

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This happened while I was on vacation, so I'm a little late to it, but it's terrific news, and not too late to vote for her! The Catholic Spirituality Blogs Network has nominated Margaret, along with other great Catholic writers, for a Frankie Award honoring some of the year's best blog posts. Margaret is nominated for her brief but well-wrought post, "The Perils of Digging Potatoes". I wasn’t one to dig potatoes using a spading fork; I found I did more harm to the tubers by using it. … [Read more...]

Evangelii Gaudium and My Joyful Grouse Rome-ward

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Well, the little I've managed to read of it today, I've loved, and you will likely love it, too, because in my skimming, I'm finding it gorgeous. In my skimming, my eyes landed on this bit, which is rather glorious, and a true challenge to all of us. It more or less explains what Pope Francis meant when he called proselytism "solemn nonsense": Loving others is a spiritual force drawing us to union with God; indeed, one who does not love others “walks in the darkness” (1 Jn 2:11), … [Read more...]

Patheos Welcomes Billy Kangas and The Orant

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Up until now, Leah Libresco -- who was baptized and received into the faith just about a year ago -- was our "youngest" Catholic both chronologically and religiously. She's still the youngest among us but she's almost an old-lady Catholic compared to Billy Kangas, who was received into the church last Easter, and has been making a lot of Catholic noise since even before then, and seems therefore a swell fit for PatheosCatholic. If you're not familiar with Billy, he lives in DC, where he is … [Read more...]

Cry Woof! Welcoming Will Duquette to Patheos

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Image courtesy of shutterstock.com Will Duquette has been hanging around Patheos for a while, as one of several splendid folks helping Julie Davis review books, books and more books over at the Happy Catholic Bookshelf, and he did some blogging on his own, as well, but it was kind of discreet, in manner and form. Well, we've brought the rest of Will Duquette, not just his book reviews, over here to Patheos, and it's a lot less discreet, all around. I am actually very tardy in introducing … [Read more...]

Talking “Strange Gods” with Brandon Vogt

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One of my favorite people on the planet is Brandon Vogt, a young man of considerable energy and imagination, but also great faith and astounding generosity. No one could have faulted him, had he sought to profit from his first book, The Church and New Media, but Brandon donated 100% of the book's proceeds to establish school computer labs throughout the Archdiocese of Mombasa, Kenya. Kathy Schiffer has mentioned meeting Brandon in Rome in 2011, for the beatification of Pope John Paul II and … [Read more...]

Prayers for Critically Injured Thomas Peters – Lungs seem better

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Friends, please whisper up a prayer for Thomas Peters of Catholic Vote: Thomas was involved in an accident yesterday evening and has sustained major injuries. He is awake, responsive, and in stable but critical condition. Family and friends are with him. Pray for his family, too, including his father, Edward Peters, and Thomas' wife. The first time I met Thomas was in Rome in 2011 at the Vatican/Blogger meet-up, which is pictured above. I complimented him on looking so handsome in his … [Read more...]

Welcome Simcha Fisher, Pants and All!

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This is one of those announcements I have been waiting to make for a good long while, and I am very excited to know that today is the day! Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my distinct pleasure to tell you that as of today Simcha Fisher (Somechop to her friends) will be joining the gang here at Patheos, and the gang could not be happier! Yes, that photo says "don't get all artsy about it, just take the picture" and it is precisely that sort of authenticity and impatience that makes me love … [Read more...]

Wrestling Big Questions With Civility, Smarts, Grace

Brandon Vogt -- tireless, energetic, passionately Catholic, creative Brandon Vogt -- has created something new, and he calls it Strange Notions: the Digital Aeropagus. I've been meaning to mention this for weeks, but my schedule has been atrocious. This video helps to spell it out, so I can certainly squeeze it in! Strange Notions is about asking and answering the big questions in a public forum, and most particularly in fomenting constructive engagement between Atheists and people of … [Read more...]

Dr. Greg Popcak at Patheos, “Faith on the Couch”!

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If you listen to Ave Maria radio, you already know Dr. Greg Popcak from the "More 2 Life" radio podcasts he hosts with his wife, Lisa, in which they apply Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body to the practical challenges of everyday life. But if you're not so familiar with "Dr. Greg" Popcak you very soon will be, because he seems to have a lot of energy, and while we're "officially introducing him to you today, he's already posting rather prolifically at his new Patheos blog, which he … [Read more...]

Confronting the Voris issue with Spot-on Charity

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Because time doesn't permit, and because my interests don't really ride there, I rarely write about anything touching on Michael Voris -- I think the Church Militant needs to be balanced with Mercy in just the same way the Church Triumphant needs to balance with Humility, but I have enough trouble minding my own soul to get exercised about either gang. Occasionally, a Voris story blips across my awareness and then I'll either argue against purges in the family or defend him, if I think he needs … [Read more...]

Cravings: New Personal Perspectives for a New Year

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I have been waiting for a long time for the release of Mary DeTurris Poust's latest book, Cravings: A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image and God, and here it finally is: Before I had read a word about the book a glimpse of the cover spelled out a central aspect of its message: we see a luscious berry, so overripe it's almost bursting; you want to just grab it and indulge in it, but note the thorns that warn against mindless excess. It brilliantly conveys the essential message of the … [Read more...]

Benedict: @Pontifex Does Real Theology in 140 Characters – UPDATE

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(Image shamelessly cribbed from Lisa Hendey's post) Pope Benedict XVI launched his first tweet today, on this feastday of Our Lady of Guadalupe, to much fanfare. And then -- like the rest of us -- he found the act so ridiculously fun and ingratiating that he did it some more! And yes, he is answering questions: Q: How can we celebrate the Year of Faith better in our daily lives? A: By speaking with Jesus in prayer, listening to what he tells you in the Gospel and looking for him in … [Read more...]