Sunday, February 5, 2012

Looking for a Few Good Blogs?

There are many Catholic blogs to choose from; if you don’t have some favorites already, or would like to add a few, here are a few recommendations.

For General News and Commentary:

ThePulp.It: For Catholic news and commentary, this is one of the best sources. This blog is like a “Reader’s Digest” of the day’s blogging all over the world. Published by Tito Edwards, it is updated several times each day, and lists the titles of a number of blog posts that provide information and analysis of current Catholic issues.

WDTPRS: or, “What Does the Prayer Really Say?” by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf also known as simply “Fr. Z” or “Fr. Z’s blog”. He updates numerous times through the day, and his posts include everything from comments on liturgical issues, news items, his travels, and his own gastronomical creations, to photos of astronomical anomalies and of the birds that frequent his farm. Oh…and he generally tells us what the prayers really say, especially the Sunday collects, with his “slavishly literal” translations; he also adds commentary about the history of the prayers. Fr. Z is a good source of info as to what’s going on in the world, what the prayer really says, and all matters liturgical.

For Liturgy:

The New Liturgical Movement: This blog focuses on the sacred liturgy and liturgical arts. You’ll often find wonderful photos of altars, sanctuaries, vestments, and church architecture, along with fine articles on these subjects.  Also covered are particularly beautiful liturgical occasions such as ordinations or feast-day Masses. There are a number of writers who contribute to the blog, each with his own specialty. The emphasis is always on liturgical excellence and reverence. The NLM blog has often been referenced on this blog.

The Chant Café: This blog has been highlighted here a number of times. If you are a musician, or even if you’re not, but you just want good music in the liturgy, this blog is worth checking on a daily basis. The focus is, of course, on chant and sacred polyphony; there are a number of stellar contributors, with Jeffrey Tucker as the ring leader. There are original posts as well as links to other good articles or videos.

The Recovering Choir Director: Aristotle Esguerra is the author of this blog, and he’s a …you guessed it…choir director. He is also a composer who does his part to promote reverence and beauty in liturgical music, and he offers the means to do so to others.  According to his own statement on his blog, he’s been shaped by and is interested in “the ongoing development of a liturgical spirituality; the realization of the importance of liturgical music as sung prayer; and the discovery of the need for liturgical music reform in the Latin Church according to the highest intentions of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council and prior stewards of the liturgy.” I think this blog is especially good for choir directors and semi-accomplished musicians and singers.

General Interest:

Cradle Stories: by Wendi, who has been featured here a time or two. Wendi really “gets” music, both from the perspective of the person in the pew, as well as a musician. Her posts are pithy and entertaining, and not always about music! If you haven’t read any of the posts highlighted here, you’re missing out.

My PhotoFr. Julian’s Blog: I’m including this blog here because as far as I know, Fr. Julian Cassar, rector of St. Francis de Sales Cathedral in Baker City, is the only priest in the Diocese of Baker with his own blog. He just started it at the beginning of January. He also maintains the parish website of St. Francis de Sales, updating it faithfully every Saturday; it’s probably the best parish website in the diocese. Fr. Julian has said that he is planning to post something on his blog every day. So far, it’s usually been the saint or feast of the day, or a gentle story of some sort, or a favorite prayer – nothing challenging or controversial, just “easy listening” for the eyes, I guess you could say. He includes plenty of photos, too.

The New Theological Movement: For something a little meatier, try this blog by Fr. Ryan Erlenbush. The posts are theological in nature (surprise!), and Fr. Erlenbush is quite adept at packing some solid information into an understandable essay that often will leave you amazed at the richness of our Catholic heritage. His work has been mentioned here once or twice. Fr. Erlenbush’s articles provide a way of increasing our understanding of the liturgy, because many of these theological gems are hinted at or assumed in the liturgy or in the traditions surrounding a particular holy day.

There are lots of good Catholic blogs out there; I’ve only mentioned the ones that focus on news, liturgy/music, and theology here. If you aren’t a regular follower of the Catholic blogosphere, and you’d like to have a better idea of what’s going on in the world and how it affects us as Catholics, I recommend you check ThePulp.It daily. You’ll start to recognize some of the names and the blogs, and you will find the ones that suit your own taste.

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