Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spreading the Faith via New Media


Lisa and I are already looking forward to attending the 3rd annual Catholic New Media Celebration (CNMC) in Boston this August. Last year we had just started our blogging adventure when the CNMC took place in San Antonio. There we met some of our favorite podcasters and experienced Catholic bloggers,  but more importantly we were introduced to a welcoming online Catholic family.

We used our experiences at the CNMC to sharpen our focus on those issues we value: our Catholic faith, our family, Pro-life, and summarizing how we view political changes through our Conservative upbringing.

The CNMC offers two tracks of sessions for people interested in spreading the Catholic faith via online media: podcasting and blogging. At last year’s Catholic New Media Celebration (CNMC), Lisa and I attended the “blogger track,” where we met and listened to presentations from Matthew Warner, Lisa Hendey, and Danielle Bean. Danielle, a columnist from National Catholic Register and editor of Faith & Family Live, cautioned us not become so busy writing about our life that we forget to live our life. No worries there! This past week I’ve definitely been too busy living my life to be thinking about it, let alone writing about it! Still I suppose it’s part of a natural ebb and flow of everyday life.

This year the organizers have pulled out all the stops in scheduling the featured speakers for blogging. We’re very excited to meet, learn from, and be inspired by Thomas Peters, Sarah Reinhardt, and Lisa Balducci.

Sarah Reinhardt is a regular writer on Catholic Mom, Faith & Family Life, Today’s Catholic Woman, and her own blog, Snoring Scholar. I first learned about her from the Mary Moment segment on the SQPN podcast Catholic Moments, where Sarah offers a short musing on finding Mary, the Mother of God, in our everyday life.

Lisa Balducci’s blog, “Testosterhome,” about her life with five sons might need a new subtitle since she’s welcomed a new baby girl into the family. This super-mom has a new book titled, How Do You Tuck In a Superhero?: And Other Delightful Mysteries of Raising Boys. I’m looking forward to meeting her and discussing how she balances her writing with family life. When, exactly, does she find/make time to write?

Thomas Peters’ well known blog, AmericanPapist, has been a favorite of ours for many years. Peters started American Papist five years ago while in school and currently works for a D.C. conservative think tank as his day job. With graduate degrees in theology, Peters has a knack for writing about and commenting on all things Catholic in a unique way. Recently he merged his AmericanPapist with the popular upstart, Catholic Vote for massive impact on the public.

I can’t decide whether going to the CNMC is a “sacrifice” or an “indulgence”. One the one hand it’s a sacrifice because it’s taking time away from our families. The CNMC takes place on Birdie’s 4th birthday! Lisa must have struggled in making the decision to attend. Attendance has also required some advanced planning on my part, setting aside travel funding from my family’s monthly budget. We’re also not going to be in Boston long enough to do any amount of sightseeing--which is most definitely a sacrifice for this history major!--flying in for the Friday reception and leaving Sunday early afternoon. I wasn’t sure I could be there, because the CNMC backs up to a major work conference that starts at the same time. Choosing to attend the CNMC over the start of my career job conference feels like a big deal to me.

However, I also see attending the CNMC as a bit of an “indulgence”. It’s not often that Lisa and I have two nights away from our families, interacting as sisters without outside family distractions. I think the last time we shared a bedroom (alone) we were teenagers. We expect the blogger sessions to engage us in intellectual stimulation, allowing us to consider new ideas and new directions. We expect the speakers will inspire us to continue this project together. And if last year is any example, we’ll be making new friends and seeking out new opportunities.

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