Jan 022012

Having followed the new media adventures of Greg and Jennifer Willits from the early days of the Rosary Army podcast to their show on Sirius satellite radio “The Catholics Next Door” I am not surprised at all by the number of ideas that flow out of them.

The latest efforts is “New Evangelizers”, New Evangelizers is both an umbrella group of their other ministries and a ministry of it’s own in providing free tools to others to spread and support the faith.

Rosary Army had the wonderful motto “Make them. Pray them. Give them away” and New Evangelizers also hits on an excellent tri-part motto. “Know your faith. Live your faith. Share your faith.”

We accomplish this by creating and distributing digital (online) and physical (hard-copy) catechetical and spiritual materials and resources for individual growth and study, as well as for mass distribution worldwide. From CDs to DVDs to printed catechetical material, we want to do everything we can to help people know their faith, live their faith, and share their faith more effectively.

In a nutshell: We give away free Catholic stuff to promote New Evangelization and ask you to do the same. Goals Our primary goal is to better equip Christians with tools and

information in order to assist the Catholic Church in re-evangelizing the world for Jesus Christ.

This is an answer to the demands of the Gospel and specifically for Blessed John Paul II’s call for a new evangelization.

Over the years, I have often repeated the summons to the new evangelization. I do so again now, especially in order to insist that we must rekindle in ourselves the impetus of the beginnings and allow ourselves to be filled with the ardour of the apostolic preaching which followed Pentecost. We must revive in ourselves the burning conviction of Paul, who cried out: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel” (1 Cor 9:16).

And as Pope Benedict XVI has said “The New Evangelization” must begin with the family. The New Evangelization remains unfulfilled as long as people don’t actually answer the call. It is fine to talk about it, but much finer still to take up the call. This is why I like the motto so much in that it distinctly states the demands of the Christian life. You can’t teach what you don’t know and you just can’t hope others will pick up the call for you. People often don’t know just where to start and the New Evangelizers site provides excellent tools for teaching and passing on the faith in a way that fully takes advantage of the new media professionally done.

Often the quote falsely attributed to St. Francis “Preach the gospel always, If necessary use words.” has been used in such a way as to diminish personal evangelization. Living the gospel in joy and simplicity is the very basis of evangelization, and it is often very necessary to use words, in fact use words, videos, books, blogs, podcasts, movies, and every single tool of media communications. This is just another of the Catholic both/and situations where actions and preaching are both required.

Feb 242010

I’ve added a new item in my right sidebar named “Picks” which highlights articles/blog posts/etc I found interesting and have tagged via delicious.  I often find good reading material in my daily travels through the information highway that I would mark for interest, but that I am too lazy to blog on or to post a link to.  With delicious I can quickly bookmark a site and then tag it.

If you are interested you could subscribe to my Catholic delicious feed. RSS

Feb 202010

I have now moved over to a new server from the great folks at CyberCatholics.com along with changing my blog from my old publishing system of Movable Type to WordPress.

I have spent just about every waking moment I could spare to make this transition over the last week and a half and am quite glad to have the major stuff done and to get more than just 5 hours sleep!.  The blog theme is fairly close to the my previous blog design, but does have some new features such as including a theme to make it easier to read on a mobile phone. Plus commenting should be much better now than in the past when double-posts were common and it would not remember your logon. Plus I am implementing a rotating banner so that it will change the header banner graphic and not just display a static image.

For myself I am quite glad to get away from Movable Type as my publishing platform.  Over seven years ago when I started this blog, Movable Type was the best platform.  Over the years though I have encountered difficulties with it in that it was hard to upgrade and you always had to pray it wouldn’t kill data – though it still did anyway.  I dreaded though making the transition to another platform knowing I would face all kinds of problems.

When you have been blogging close to eight years and have accumulated around 7,000 posts and 50,000 some comments (not spam) I expected roadblocks and encountered them.  For one Movable Type would not export my whole blog and would choke after exporting around 50 megs of text.  I had to use a custom template and then spit out the contents in 25o post chunks.  Bringing this into WordPress was also problematic in that it would not take the whole file even though I had WordPress installed locally.  Right now using WordPress’s Export Tool it also won’t export my whole blog. For WordPress users I would recommend the Advanced Export Tool Plugin which gave me much more control of exports and the ability to export all of my content.

I also had to massage the data in my export file to change date formats and of course urls to media.

One thing that did make the transition easier was a program called MAMP. MAMP let me install Apache, MySQL, and PHP on my Mac within minutes and then quickly I was able to do a basic WordPress install on my harddrive.  This was great because I was able to design and fully implement my new blog without dealing with FTP or other methods on a web host provider.  It was so much easier to develop the css/php/etc files used in my theme this way and to quickly troubleshoot problems.

So far I am quite happy with WordPress since it pretty much allows me to do what I want to do and the interface is fairly easy to use.  There is also a very active plugin community and so as a geek I will enjoy looking for plugins to add to my site that I find useful.

I would also like to thank Joshua LeBlanc of CyberCatholics.com for the prompt assistance when I needed it and for welcoming my blog to his hosting.  For affordable web hosting with great service I would send you there way.