About five years ago, a debate broke out in the Catholic Mommy** blogging world which basically focused on a single question: what should the purpose of our blogs be?
There were those who declared the necessity of Catholic Mommy blogs, especially the popular ones, to discuss more than the everyday trappings of life with kids, family, homemaking, etc. After all, Catholic Mommy blogs were run by actual human beings, who had all sorts of interests and had intelligent insights to offer to the world.
But wait! said another corner of the Catholic Mommy blogging world. Our blogs are meant to be places of refuge, not division. We already see so.much.intensity in the world itself. Politics, Church divisions, liberal vs. conservative…none of that belongs here! We want our blogs to be places of every day journey, of life’s balance of highs and lows. The rest of that stuff? The craziness of the world? That can stay out THERE.
And then there were those who fell, ever so quietly, somewhere in the middle.
And it is here where I want to begin my own story into this space, my own journey into the world of Catholic blogging.
I did, like many of you, at one time have my own Catholic blog (it may actually still be up there in the Internet universe). I wrote for about year, focused on all sorts of topics which interested me at the time, and even wrote a few articles for a Catholic media company, which at the time was looking for women bloggers to contribute to their site.
And then, for one reason or another (and I’m sure like many of your stories as well)…things slowly fizzled.
I had no interest in joining other outlets of social media, which seemed to be necessary at the time to get the word out about my blog. (I since have joined, by the way, kicking and screaming a bit). I had no interest in trying to “choose sides” or find a niche market. And I, frankly, couldn’t seem to find my unique voice in the written word. I knew I had a story to tell, but couldn’t seem to find who I was meant to be in the blogging world. (I have since found the Podcasting medium, and am grateful to have finally found my voice).
When we decided to do this blogging series, however, I was still thinking of that old debate. I was categorizing people, putting them into “types,” and attempting to navigate a world which had seemed to have lost its way.
And then I stopped. Because the divisions and categories which I thought existed, which I had in some part contributed to as the audience, weren’t actually as prevalent as I had originally imagined. Sure, there’s still plenty of discord, still “sides” which are often drawn, but it’s not the bulk of what I’ve found.
In my over year of research for this series, I have discovered, much to my delight, a quite different picture. I’ve found people who have use the platform to teach the faith in beautiful and honest ways. I’ve found moms who write about the greater problems we face in the world, and at the same time who write about the mundane, everyday difficulties of faith life, especially faith life with kids.
I have found outsiders who have discovered a home, and conservatives who are navigating blogging while at the same time attempting to be charitable.
I have found honesty, humor, and grief.
And most importantly, I have found communion. I have found men and women who have navigated the digital space and made entrance for that space into the real world. People who have formed real, authentic, lifelong friendships, all thanks to the Catholic blog.
And here’s the funny thing: the original debate of this article never really existed in the first place. Sure, people wrote about it a bit, but at the end of the day, writers of both genders, from all walks of life, have come to a single agreement: just write how YOU WANT TO WRITE and what YOU WANT TO WRITE ABOUT.
And it is here that I will end with an important note: our podcast is not a theological podcast. We do not attempt to do apologetics, and we are not catechetical in nature (in the sense our primary mission is not to teach doctrine). We are a cultural podcast. Our primary mission is, if I were to choose one, simply to tell stories of faith.
When our Lord wanted to teach abstract, theological ideas, he did so in the realm of story. For our series, we didn’t want to be accused of not telling the “whole” story. We didn’t want to miss the progressive bloggers or the conservative ones; the mom who blogs about politics or the mom who blogs about natural foods.
We did our very best to cover the spectrum, because regardless of whether or not you agree with a particular blogger, they are a part of the story of Catholic blogging in America, too. And I did my best to describe my own part in this story, because here’s the thing: even though I’m not in the Catholic blogging world anymore, Catholic blogging still plays an important part in my.own.story. And I documented that as best as I could in this series.
By honestly documenting the story of Catholic blogging, we hope for our series to be a starting point for something greater: dialogue, conversion, and an ever-deepening love of the great Mystery of God.
Happy listening, readers :).
***I am using a phrase and category here which I know people hate. I know I will get pushback, but it is simply the best phrase I know to describe a particular subset of the Catholic blogging world. So deal with it 🙂