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What Blogs Do Catholic Bloggers Read? | By Valerie Schmalz | May 18, 2005

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Last week, in "Invasion of the Catholic Bloggers," we took a look at some of the best-known and most-visited Catholic weblogs. This week we ask some Catholic bloggers to tell us what blogs they read.

Shrine of the Holy Whapping is run by self-described "Catholic Nerds" at the University of Notre Dame, who, they say, "share their thoughts on Catholic identity at ND, cultural reviews, and other musings (or ‘moosings,’ as the case may be) with the rest of the world." Their favorite blogs include:

• Friar Don Jim’s "Dappled Things" because of his great love of the ancient traditions of Catholicism and his profound liturgical common-sense.

• The Irish Elk blog for the same reasons, and the lovely photos.

• Fr. Bryce's inspired lunacy at "A Saintly Salmagundi" blog is also a national treasure. Andrew Cusack's work is great–but I enjoy reading his blog because his college experience at St. Andrew's reminds me for some reason of something out of Evelyn Waugh or Wodehouse.

Eve Tushnet’s blog and Dawn Eden’s "The Dawn Patrol" bring such an interesting perspective to the table, mixing orthodoxy with pop music and comic books.

• As a monarchy enthusiast and young fogey, I always loved Otto Hiss's inspired crankiness. I also like The Commonplace Book of Zadok the Roman, as well as the wellspring of Dominicanity which is Cnytr, but I must warn you that the two of them are good friends of mine so I'm biased.

Julie Davis, Happy Catholic blog:

I probably look at about a hundred blogs a day but using an RSS reader it is pretty easy, kind of like scanning a newspaper for the articles you want to read. I definitely have my "must read" spots though and they vary from news commentary to people who write about their daily lives. Here are a few:

• The Anchoress: news commentary with a definite attitude.
The Curt Jester: news commentary and a lot of humor with an edge.
Flos Carmeli: reflections on the arts, Carmelite traditions and saints, and contemplation. . . among other things.
martha, martha: questions and meditations on faith as reflected through happenings in the blogger's life
Scattershot Direct: A mother and novelist who is going back to nursing school muses about her life but also has some of the most penetrating social commentary I've read.
• Quiet Life: a homey, cosy blog with knitting, cooking, poetry, kid photos, all against a quietly faithful Christian background.

Jeff Culbreath, Hallowed Ground blog and the El Camino Real blog:

I tend to favor blogs that focus on Catholic culture and family life as opposed to politics. Some of these might be classified as "crunchy" or traditionalist. William Luse’s Apologia is always excellent, as is Video meliora proboque; Deteriora sequor, Old Oligarch, The Inn at the End of the World, and Bethune Catholic.

Steve Dillard, Southern Appeal:

Although I read several blogs on a regular basis, I rarely go a day without reading National Review Online's "The Corner," Jimmy Akin, and Amy Wellborn's "Open Book." And before Mark Shea went on hiatus to finish a book, I read his blog ("Catholic and Enjoying it!) without fail every day. I read "The Corner" because it is, without question, the best political blog around. I read Jimmy, Amy, and Mark's blogs because I learn so much from them about my faith. I am a recent convert to Catholicism (December 2003), so I am making up for lost time.

Barbara Nicolosi, Church of the Masses:

I read The Corner, because I enjoy having such informal access to the ideas of some of the thinkers there.  I start the day with Amy Welborn and her links always take me to a half a dozen others.  Will it make me sound foolishly extravagant if I say that Amy Welborn is one of the greatest assets in the contemporary Church. She's very thoughtful, fair and refreshingly apart from the strange and weird world of Church polarization.  I also appreciate Jeffrey Overstreet's Looking Closer, which is a smart site on faith and culture.

Jeff Miller, The Curt Jester, Splendor of Truth:

This is a "which is your favorite child" type of question. I use an RSS aggregator which lets me track about two hundred Catholic blogs and a couple of dozen political blogs. The blogroll on my site lists most of the blogs that I read. The St. Blog's Parish Web Ring and this listing are lists of most of the current membership of St. Blogs.

If I am too busy for my normal blog cornucopia here is an example must read short list.

Domenico Bettinelli, Amy Welborn, Jimmy Akin, Justin Katz, Steven Riddle, Victor Lams, Patrick Sweeney, Tom Kreitzberg, Julie D, Kathy Shaidle, Lane Core Jr, Christopher Blosser, Dawn Eden, TSO, Summa Mamas, Elena, Willam Luse, Dale Price

These are a good start and the great thing about St. Blogs is just how many high quality blogs there are to read. I mainly read blogs to keep informed about the faith and current events.

Mark Sullivan, the Irish Elk:

St. Bloggers I regularly read include Dale Price, a wonder to behold when venting spleen; John Cahill, bagpiper and Latin Mass loyalist; young fogies like Andrew Cusack and the Shriners of the Holy Whapping, and that buster of heretics and jackalopes, Fr. Sibley.

Secular blogs I particularly enjoy for their wit, fine writing and graphics include Ever So Humble, Random Pensees, and the Llama Butchers.

General favorites include the New York Sun, the Library of Congress' American Memory, and the New Criterion's Armavirumque.

Edward Peters, A Canon Lawyer’s Blog:

The only two I bookmark are IgnatiusInsightScoop and Jimmy Akin, though I occasionally read blogs they link to and blogs that link to my blogs (to see what they’re saying about my stuff, you know, was my stuff helpful, confusing, what). IP and Jimmy Akin feature highly trustworthy authors with something significant to say. I really restrict my blog reading, the same way I do newspaper reading or broadcast news. There is simply too much of it out there. You have to be selective.

• Last Week: Invasion of the Catholic Bloggers

• Next week: What do Catholic blogs contribute? What is unique about Catholic blogs?

Valerie Schmalz is a writer for IgnatiusInsight. She worked as a reporter and editor for The Associated Press, and in print and broadcast media for ten years. She holds a BA in Government from University of San Francisco and a Master of Science from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is the former director of Birthright of San Francisco. Valerie and her wonderful husband have four children.

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