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Catholic bloggers: a new kind of missionary Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Sep. 12, 2013 -- 12:00 AM
Starting your own blog

For those who’d like to start their own blog, the bloggers have some advice.

“The design is trivial; it’s all about the content,” said Matt Korger.

“Follow Jesus closely, be faithful, be a lover of goodness, truth, and beauty, be good to people in need, and have in mind the New Evangelization — that is, bringing people back to the faith who have wandered a little, or a lot,” said Elizabeth Durack.

“I would advise new blog writers to be true to their personality, to keep it positive and upbeat, to visit and comment on lots of other Catholic blogs, and to network with other writers as much as possible. But most of all, I would advise all blog writers to begin every post with prayer and then leave the results in God’s hands,” added Anne Bender.

MADISON -- Whether you’re an active web surfer, or just like to keep up on modern jargon, you may be familiar with the term “blogging.”

If you look in a dictionary, a blog (short for web log) is “a website on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis.”

The vast electronic space of the Internet is full of blogs for celebrity news, politics, sports, and of course, religion.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Catholic-related blogs. They are written by a new kind of missionaries: priests, Religious, and laypeople of all ages. We talked with four of these people — a small sampling, but strong examples of Wisconsin Catholic representation in the blogosphere.

‘The Badger Catholic’

One of these blogs is “The Badger Catholic” (badgercatholic.blogspot.com). This particular blog is headquartered in La Crosse and written by Matt Korger, with sizable followings in the Milwaukee and Madison areas.

“The Badger Catholic” has been online for four years. The idea came from a blog Korger read that discussed topics affecting Catholics in Minnesota. Korger felt the need to start one for Catholics in the Badger State.

He described his content as “a little bit of everything. Basically any news affecting Catholics in the area.”

He added, “I just saw a need for one and started at it. I guess what I like most about having a blog is that people find it useful. The other blessing has been the many fantastic Catholics I’ve met throughout the state.”

Korger can, at times, get mixed reactions to his postings.

“Depending on the post, comments can be positive or negative, and I allow for negative feedback on a post as long as it is fair,” Korger said. “Since I touch on issues deemed too hot of topics for other media outlets to cover, people can get hot under the collar. I actually don’t mind it. Honest, open discussion on these topics is good.”

“If you like a mix of traditional Catholicism, Johnny Cash, liturgical commentary, beer, pro-life coverage, with a side of cheese, tune in,” he said.

‘The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Rules the World’

Another blog, this one originating in Madison, is Syte Reitz’s “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Rules the World” (sytereitz.com).

The title is based off of William Ross Wallace’s poem, “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.”

Reitz said the poem suggests that motherhood can be a powerful force driving change in the world.

She added, “Our modern culture needs the reminder that a woman can have more impact on human history through the spiritual and intellectual nurturing of her child than she could have through other personal career choices.”

Her blog has been active for three years. She was encouraged to start the blog by her son, Tom, who works as a web developer

and manages her site.

“[He] insisted that I was good at explaining the Catholic/conservative perspective to young people,” Reitz said.

Her topics range from “politics to family to religion, and often include abortion, cultural wars, faith, feminism, homeschooling, and interest items from my culture of birth, Lithuanian,” she said.

She receives both positive and negative attention to her posts.

“The positive feedback includes emails, comments, and fans stopping me in Madison,” said Reitz. “It has included praise from some prominent Madison Catholics, and from some of my husband’s UW colleagues. The negative attention includes some hate mail. It has also included tens of thousands of hacking attempts each month.”

To those who haven’t read her blog before, Reitz said, “I discuss interesting current topics in an informal, understandable, and often humorous way. I enjoy defending what I believe in. My articles are fun to read, and include many cartoons for levity.”

‘Laetificat’

Another blog from Madison is “Laetificat” (laetificatmadison.com) by Elizabeth Durack. Laetificat means “gives joy” or “is joyful.”

Durack’s blog has been active for a little more than a year.

She said she started the blog because she was “frustrated by noisy, constant, and evil media propaganda alleging a ‘war on women’ and a media narrative against the Catholic Church . . . I wanted to show the perspective of an actual believing and practicing Catholic young lay woman.”

She added, “The primary focus, which the blog title is meant to keep pointing me back to, is a positive one, and I like to have pictures of the beautiful Corpus Christi procession, for example. But the most dynamic use of my blog, which I didn’t foresee from the start, has been what I would describe as reform-oriented, going to where something is dramatically awry and reporting first-person.”

Durack says her blog is increasingly widely known in the local Catholic community, particularly through stories on Nuns on the Bus and the Holy Wisdom Monastery.

“Sometimes people I’ve never met before know who I am and tell me they like my blog. I have met new people and it has led me to feel part of a wider community or family of the Church,” she said.

When asked what she likes the most about having a blog, she answered, “I like being able to share my love for Jesus and His Church, to inform, and to give some encouragement and, I hope, joy to faithful Catholics. I like that I have made new friends through blogging.”

‘Imprisoned in My Bones’

The blog “Imprisoned in My Bones” (annebender.blogspot.com) by Anne Bender of West Allis has been going since 2009.

“I am incessant when it comes to sharing my faith,” said Bender. “I talk about God and Catholicism constantly wherever I happen to be.

“It’s impossible for me to keep my faith out of conversations, but I often felt stifled by those who seemed disinterested in or overwhelmed by what I had to say. So writing about my faith life seemed like a natural outlet to reach people who were out of earshot but who might be interested in knowing my thoughts on God.”

Bender called her blog “eclectic.”

“I write about local church events, share family stories, include some poetry, incorporate prayers and quotes that I love, and try to express how I feel God working in my life and in the world around me.

“From time to time I offer a guest post which has been written by a friend or family member . . . I am also a voracious reader and will frequently post book reviews.”

Bender’s blog has gotten mostly positive reaction.

“I am very blessed to receive a great amount of encouragement regarding my blog posts,” she said. “In all of the time I have been writing my blog, I have only received two negative, mean-spirited comments from people who were clearly looking to attack the Church.”

Her following is modest, but she hopes those that are reading it are getting something out of it.

“My hope is that each and every person who reads it will somehow be inspired and moved to fall more deeply in love with God through my public witness to the faith,” Bender said.

 
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