I was perusing a facebook group when I saw a local Catholic blogger mentioned she had “stumbled across” Jennifer Fulwiler’s blog Conversion Diary a few times. I had to stop and check myself. Jennifer Fulwiler is not only the host of one of the largest and longest continuous running memes in the Catholic internet, she is also a blogger for National Catholic Register and had a three-part web series done about her conversion and life. And she’s been at this for a pretty long time in blog-speak. It seems, to me at least, completely incomprehensible that any Catholic blogger might not be be aware at least of Jen and her undeniable mark on the Catholic blogosphere. So, I decided I’d list ten of my favorite blogs and why they appeal to me. Because I know you are all dying to know this, right? I think there are a lot of awesome bloggers out there who deserve as much credit as Jen for spreading the faith and some are big and some are small.
1. We’ll start with Conversion Diary. Jen’s blog started as Et tu, Jen? a blog that chronicled her conversion from material atheism into conservative Roman Catholicism. Her archives are full of amazing stories and truths. She also chronicles life in Texas, encounters with scorpions and her mother-in-law Yaya. Jen also hosts Seven Quick Takes Friday, a weekly meme that encourages bloggers to share seven segments that don’t quite make up full blog posts. This meme is great for introducing people to any number of Catholic blogs big and small.
2. Catholic and Enjoying It! is Mark Shea’s blog at Patheos. Shea is a no-holds barred, pull no punches kind of blogger. Which I love. His style in confrontational in some regards but he also publishes prayer requests. And funny youtube videos. He’s not afraid of any topic but is also man enough to apologize if he finds he is in the wrong.
3. Simcha Fisher’s blog I Have To Sit Down. Simcha made me realize I wasn’t the only Catholic out there like me. Does that make sense? Well, to me it does. I’m the one who doesn’t have it all together all the time and who likes The Black Keys and well, who has children who cut up, a lot. And crack me up when they are cutting up. Simcha is not only hilarious and satirical, she’s real. And you can’t make ’em like that. And, like Mark, nothing’s off limits.
4. Passionate Perseverance is Mary’s story of her life and faith and, in particular, her life and faith life with her daughter Courtney who is blind, confined to a wheel chair and has a seizure disorder amongst other things and just turned 21 yesterday! Mary has chronicled Courtney’s story, including a pilgrimage to Lourdes. I have an obvious connection personally to Mary in being the mother of a very special daughter. Neither Shelby nor Courtney can tell their mamas much in the way of words but both of them have shown us love and made us better people. Mary has also shown, through her blog, that sometimes real strength means telling God you’ve reached the limit and can’t do it without Him anymore. I love her honesty in both the joys and frustrations of all of life.
5. A Woman’s Place is Cam’s record of her life. Cam’s life is what I like to call “super-infused” with Catholicism. She has a lively sweet girl named Sadie who at the ripe old age of five is professing her intention to become a Carmelite. She has a tornado of a girl named Mae who makes every day an adventure and a beautiful infant son named Patrick. She has chronicled her conversion as well as her daily life. She also delves into politics and faith and recipes. Oh her recipes!
6. Having Left the Altar is Katherine’s blog about her family, faith and life. Katherine’s blog, to me, is especially interesting as she has a house full of girls as opposed to the boy-heavy families at Testosterhome and Blessed Among Men. Five little girls, to be exact. Katherine also has a series dedicated to the Year of Faith that is informative and instructive. She also has a tab dedicated to pregnancy to help anyone who comes across her site who is in an unintended pregnancy with accurate, scientific knowledge as well as encouragement.
7. The Wine Dark Sea is Melanie Bettinelli’s contribution to the blogging world and what a contribution it is. Melanie writes about her family and homeschooling but art and music and faith as well. She has been hosting an on-going series dedicated to the Nicene Creed in which she invites other bloggers to blog on particular parts of the creed. Melanie has thoughtful commentary and her blogs often leave me feeling peaceful but with a new perspective or a new twist on a familiar one.
8. Fear Not Little Flock is a delightful blog written by Priest’s Wife. And she’s not an Anglican priest’s wife. Fear Not Little Flock is a blog that introduced me to a part of the Church I was aware of but not at all versed on, the Eastern Rite. Popes Benedict and Francis have both been shining a brighter light on Eastern Rite Catholicism and I believe Priest’s Wife is doing the Catholic blogosphere a huge service by being one “in the trenches” teaching the laity about how beautifully complex and diverse our tradition is.
9. Coffee and Canticles is Daria Sockey’s blog dedicated to the saying of The Divine Office or Liturgy of the Hours. Daria hosts a weekly Q &A session and she shares articles and blog posts dedicated to The Divine Office. She even has a Breviary Boot-Camp. This is a must visit for all Catholics.
10. Moxie Wife is Hallie Lord’s blog that was once Betty Beguiles. What I love about Hallie’s blog is that she focuses on the vocation of wife and how being a good wife makes a better mother and person. She offers lots of interesting discussions on the topics of marriage, honoring ones spouse, working through dry periods in marriage and growing in your marriage. She also hosts Five Favorites, a weekly meme that allows bloggers to choose any five favorite things (themed or otherwise) to share.
These are my picks, I love tons of blogs, but these 10 are must-reads for me and that I feel that if you’re Catholic and don’t read, are worth at least trying out. So, now it’s your turn to share, if you so choose to take this challenge, in the comments some of your favorites or even tout your own blog.