I remember when I first met Greg Willits. It was at the very first Catholic New Media Celebration in Atlanta, Georgia in 2009. I came up to Greg to say hello, and he said, “Hey – you’re Angela Santana!” Those few seconds really summarize Catholic new media for me; that two people who would otherwise be complete strangers could meet in person and already have a personal connection.
- Representing Holy Orders: My heart rejoices at hearing a new bishop host his own personal podcast, via his own blog, especially when he says things like, “I’m a bit of a geek […] I love my Mac and I love my iPod,” and using the following terms: animated GIF, JPEG, iPhone, Facebook, “get a text” [message], blog, podcast, “uber geek.” Congratulate and show your appreciation for Bishop Chris Coyne by visiting his blog, Let Us Walk Together: Thoughts of a Catholic Bishop.
- Representing Matrimony: Everyone loves a good love story. The moment I read this blog post by author Mike Hayes about his wife, I felt such a strong affinity to the marriage vocation. Mike blogs about ministry in a personal, colorful way. Check out his blog, Googling God, where he’s currently doing a 50 Day Lenten Giveaway.
- Representing Single Life: For singles – who, speaking as a single person, truly have the grace of making extra time to devote to their spiritual formation – and for every Catholic, I highly recommend the Catholic Spiritual Direction blog. Find answers to nearly every question you could ask about the spiritual life.
- Representing Holy Orders: I feel super geeky every time I listen to The Catholic Underground. But then I realize that I’m among priests (and laity) much geekier than I, and that makes me grin.
- Representing Matrimony: I was once afraid that I wouldn’t be able to relate to Mac and Katherine Barron, who are married with children in a Bible Belt town. But I gave a listen to Catholic In A Small Town, and now I can hardly wait until the next episode. Do yourself a favor and check out their show.
- Representing Single Life: I’m a strong believer that men and women need spiritual resources tailored for them. Our vocations as men and women are so different. For the ladies, I recommend Among Women – always an inspiring or fun podcast by Pat Gohn. For the men, I recommend the fantastic archive of podcasts via the National Fellowship of Catholic Men online media network. Just click a category and find tons of great mp3s for download!
- Representing Holy Orders: Want to help a young man pursue his calling? Meet Patrick Gothman. While in seminary for diocesan priesthood, he discovered the Little Brothers of the Lamb, a mendicant branch of the Dominican order. He feels a strong attraction to life with this order, and you can help him discern! Patrick says, God told me in prayer back in November, Your entire vocation is a gift, not something you can earn. So also, how you get there is a gift, and I will bring people to you who will help, if you ask.
Learn more about Patrick, read his blog, and donate toward his cause at his website, Make A Friar.
- Representing Matrimony: Out of an almost-divorced marriage, the Church has been given a dynamic, needed marriage ministry: The Alexander House. Husband-and-wife team Greg and Julie Alexander have established a ministry to strengthen broken and hurting marriages, and to educate couples about God’s plan for marriage.
- Representing Single Life: Everyone loves a good Dominican friar. Better yet – a good young Dominican friar. You can find TONS of these guys over at Preaching Friars, a website featuring the student friars of St. Dominic Priory. Check out their blog, Lenten guide, and video of some fantastic Dominican preaching. It’s clear that these guys are living the single life with joy.
- Representing Holy Orders: Every Catholic would love to meet the Holy Father, right? Well, Boston’s CatholicTV gives you the next best thing with VisitThePope.com – offering a 2D or 3D video giving you inside access to a typical day in the life of Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI!
- Representing Matrimony: The amazing 2-year-old Michael Barber, Jr. I’ve often learned from theology professor Dr. Michael Barber’s media appearances, but it appears that having Dr. Barber for a dad is the ultimate classroom. Congratulations to the Barbers – that’s what I want my kids to be like someday!
- Representing Single Life: The Daughters of St. Paul have teamed up with Fr. Thomas Loya to create a USTREAM live & recorded Theology of the Body Online Study Group! Every second Saturday of the month, tune in live to the USTREAM broadcast of this study group. If you miss a session, you can check out their archives and catch up. It’s a fantastic program, and I’ve learned so much just from the few episodes I’ve seen.
- October 27 through November 10, 2010, I was blogging in the Holy Land with Catholic evangelization ministry (and my employers) The Pilgrim Center of Hope. A chronicle of my experiences as a first-time pilgrim can be found here. Start with the entry, “Checking in from the Holy Land” and work your way up the list.
- My best friend Dan Sealana and I have a lot in common. We both live in San Antonio, are passionate about our Catholic faith, are excited about new media, and want to share all three of those things with lots of people. Following a strong calling, and preceeded by a letter to our bishop, we’ve begun collaborating on San Antonio Catholic Beat – a ministry that promotes “faith and fun” in South Texas. We want to evangelize, express an excitement about living Catholic lives, promote awareness of local events, and offer our own events whenever possible, in service of South Texas.
- I told you I’d explain why this post is divided by vocation! It mimics a section of my thesis, New Media, New Evangelization: The Unique Benefits of New Media and Why the Catholic Church Should Engage Them, which was published in May 2010. You can read it and other materials I’ve created via SlideShare. Thanks to Brandon Vogt, the thesis will be mentioned in the forthcoming book, The Church and New Media. (I get my own sidebar!) Keep up with the status of that book – it’ll feature outstanding contributors like Fr. Robert Barron and Matthew Warner.