June 10, 2011 – My Favorites

Oh the lazy, hazy days of summer.  Summer is typically a time around the parish when things are a tad slower, although as I was putting my to-do list together at our last Parish Council meeting, I was questioning the validity of this statement (LOL).  Anyway, no matter what the season, the Catholic Church continues its mission of spreading the message of Jesus.  Part of spreading this message now of course involves putting material on the internet.  There is no way that anyone could list out everything that is floating around in cyberspace, but I thought today I would tell you about a few of my “go to” sites – sites that I visit on a regular basis, and also tell you a little bit about what I like about them.  I’ll also put the link to them so you can easily click and go to visit them.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

Link: www.usccb.org

The USCCB website is a good place to go if you do not have a lot of time to surf and you just need one good general website for Catholic information.  This site includes the readings of the day and video reflections on the readings, which is great for people like me who are unable to attend Daily Mass.  It also includes news items, copies of the New American Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, announcements of Papal appointments, links to other important information such as the revisions to the Roman Missal, a website with resources for a happy and holy marriage, pro-life materials, and much more.  I find myself going to it quite often for some type of information.

Catholic News Service (CNS)

Link: www.catholicnews.com

If you are looking for one website to keep up with the current events involving the Catholic Church, this is the one I would direct you to.  It includes news as well as movie reviews and video reports from the Vatican.  Again, this is a site where if you do not have a lot of time to surf the net, this is one site that will give you a lot of basic information.

My Catholic

Link: www.mycatholic.com

I like this website because you can customize the homepage to fit your own interests.  You can include things such as news headlines, opinion pieces, daily reflections, educational resources, and many other things.  There is even a place to type in your own favorite website in and it will appear on your homepage.

Diocese of Belleville

Link: www.diobelle.org

One site you definitely want to bookmark is the one for the Diocese of Belleville (or the website for the diocese in which you reside).  The Diocese of Belleville site includes a listing of parishes with Mass times and also the websites for many of the parishes (although you may not want to look too close, you may like them better than mine – LOL).  There are also articles from the current Messenger, and a page of resources which I really like.  It includes links to other diocesan web pages, the monthly mailings from the Chancery, diocesan financial statements, child protection information, and the diocesan directory which is continually updated.  It includes all of the diocesan departments and personnel, listings of parishes and schools, and you can even find out how old your pastor is and when he was ordained (egads!).

These are all good sites to stay informed on what is going on with our church locally, nationally and worldwide.  There are also more and more Catholic blogs popping up (competition – ugh!).  These are a few that I like to visit regularly:

Whispers in the Loggia

Link: http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com

This blog is written by Rocco Palmo, a 28 year old man from Philadelphia.  He does a great job of covering Catholic news and gossip.  If you do not have the time or patience to surf around the internet, you can go here and you will be well informed on the happenings in the national and worldwide Catholic Church.

The Gospel in the Digital Age

Link: http://blog.archny.org

This blog is written by Abp. Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York.  I have become an admirer of his because he is very knowledgeable on church issues and vigorously defends the church’s stances on social issues, yet he is a down-to-earth guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously.  Recently in his interview for 60 Minutes, Morley Safer asked for his reaction to those who believe that he is a worthy candidate for Pope.  His answer: “Have you been talking to my mother again?”.  He also acknowledges the problems of the church and why people are leaving the faith.  His latest blog focuses on Pentecost and what the true definition of church is.

My Altar-Net View

Link: http://frjcrascher.wordpress.com

This blog is interesting because it is written by one of our Diocesan priests, Fr. Joe Rascher, who is Pastor of St. Stephen’s Parish in Caseyville.  Fr. Rascher is very well-versed in liturgy and is a very good homilist.  He shares some of his homily material in his blog along with personal stories.  They are good reads and they give a little insight into what the life of a Catholic priest is really like and what their priorities are.

And of course there is a little website that a large, quiet computer nerd from the Home of Popeye began about 4 years ago for his church of St. Mary’s, www.maryhoc.org, that has a few pictures, church bulletins, schedules, and a rambling blog.  Something you might want to check out sometime.

Also I need to mention 2 of my favorite sites that are not necessarily church related but that I love to log on to.  One is Facebook (www.facebook.com).  It took me a while to warm up to it because I thought it was mostly for teenagers and other geeks with too much time on their hands (on second thought, I wonder why I didn’t warm up to it sooner).  Anyway, once I started using it I found that it was a nice way to stay in touch with folks and to reunite with people I hadn’t heard from for a while.  Also many websites, including ours, have a Facebook tab, whick if you click on it and “Like” the page it will send you updates whenever they put a new item on their page.  On our Facebook page I put things such as photos, funeral announcements and other tidbits.

Finally, the website that is absolutely precious to me, the one which if I was on a desert island I would miss the most: Baseball Reference.  All the stats, box scores, playoff histories, etc. that any baseball fan can ask for.  An interesting link is to the career of Roger Wolff, who was a member of our parish and is buried in our cemetery.  He was a knuckleballer who won 20 games for Washington in 1945 before hurting his arm.  Here is the link:


Of course there are many more great sites out there, but these are some of my picks.  If you have a favorite, let me know and I will share it.

My blog next week will be put up a little later.  I will be attending a workshop on Saturday for the revisions to the Roman Missal and I plan to write about that.  So feel free to make other plans for your Saturday (LOL).  Have a great week.  Peace.



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