RCsocial.net: a new Catholicism focused micro-blogging service

Rcsocial

RCsocial.net is a new project I am working on, for Catholics and those with an interest in Catholicism. It is a free micro-blogging service or what some might call a type of message board. It is a wonderful way to evangelize and for us to support each other.

Faithful Catholics have used and continue to use services like Twitter and Facebook, but such venues are increasingly hostile to those they disagree with. Punishments meted out include “shadow-banning” (without warning, your messages are simply hidden from others), your account is suspended or even removed. If, for example, you oppose abortion, euthanasia, “gay marriage”, gender “fluidity”, or really anything sinful – especially if legally permitted – then you may be targeted. If you personally have not yet had any issues, many others have so open discussion is already suppressed (unless it affirms the culture).

RCsocial.net offers Catholics and those interested in Catholicism a friendly, welcoming environment. It is an “instance” of the independent, fast-growing Mastodon network. Each instance focuses on its own areas of interest, in this case, Catholicism. All instances are interconnected to provide seamless intercommunication. It’s slick and out of the control of the highly biased, agenda-driven silicon valley tech giants. It is also easy to use, guards your privacy instead of exploiting it, and has no advertising. It is a breath of fresh air.

A whole lot more on RCsocial.net‘s why’s, wherefore’s and howtos are available in the RCsocial.net Overview and User Guide.

You are invited to give it a spin as there is no substitute for trying it out. Signing up is fast and easy. It is solidly Catholic, honest and interesting.

Resources: My Catholic Tube

Resources My Catholic Tube

The Internet offers us an ocean of unfiltered “content,” supplied by media giants and by individuals, spanning the spectrum of filth to the light of Christ. One huge format is video and the undisputed video king is YouTube.

Just how big is YouTube? 300 hours of new video is uploaded, on average, every minute (that is 18,000 times faster than you can watch it – you are getting really behind!). Each day, 4 billion videos are viewed. 1 billion users spend an average 40 minutes per session to see 6 billion hours monthly.

It is estimated that YouTube offers somewhere around 820 million hours of video. Among all of that is some really wonderful Catholic content. You probably already look for some of it and maybe subscribe to some channels, but finding most of the top content is hard.

What would be great is a special, Catholic YouTube portal. A special door to YouTube where we could discover faithful Catholic videos, curated and organized into general areas. While we are dreaming, it would also be nice if they were sortable by the latest, most viewed or most commented. We should also have the option of displaying them in a thumbnail grid or as a list with details. It should all be searchable too.

This has occurred to David L. Gray and his cohorts too and they said “why not?”. (Let me answer my own question: because it is a LOT of work and takes a LOT of time!). Undeterred, they have made this a reality at My Catholic Tube.

My Catholic Tube (mCT) is tagged as “The Top Destination for Catholic Videos” and is self-described as a place:

[…] to gather and to present all Catholic video productions that are faithful to the teachings of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and professionally produced. The hope is that this one gathering source will better enable us proclaim Christ to all peoples more effectively.

My Catholic Tube

Videos are categorized into these areas:

  • Apologetics
  • Apparitions
  • Cdl. Newman Recommended Colleges
  • Channels
  • Conversion Stories
  • Español
  • Evangelization
  • Featured
  • Films & Series
  • Homilies
  • Humor
  • Laity
  • Lectures
  • mCT Live
  • Mass
  • Ministries
  • Music & Poetry
  • News
  • Playlists
  • Prayers
  • Priests
  • Pro-Life
  • Religious
  • Teen To 20-Something
  • Travel
  • University

There are also special areas by month and a few blog areas (e.g. Featured Music, God in Music, Twisted Mystics).

In addition to all of this, My Catholic Tube also produces 2 video podcasts of their own. The first is The Catholic Five Talk Show (LIVE) which is a live panel discussion on contemporary topics of interest to Catholics. Panelists include Katrina Fernandez (the Crescat), David L. Gray, Fr. Joseph Heschmeyer, Brantly Millegan and Kevin Tierney.

The second self-produced video podcast is My Catholic Conversion, where us converts tell our own stories and how we came to the faith.

Finally, for you social media mavens, you can also follow My Catholic Tube on Facebook, Google+ and iTunes.

Resources: Convert Journal Audio Library

Badge:  Audio Library

A new feature of Convert Journal is a curated library of brief audio clips, each focused on a single topic. The clips are excerpts from Catholic radio shows of top apologists. I listen to a lot of these shows and come across exceptional responses to callers’ questions and comments. The shows are then saved, I extract just the clip, then add it to the library for your convenience.

One of my favorite apologists is convert Dr. David Anders of Called to Communion. The CJ audio library is therefore launched with 43 clips from him. Those initial topics are:

  • Are Only Catholics Saved?
  • Assurance of Salvation (#1)
  • Assurance of Salvation (#2)
  • Baptism and Justification
  • Catholic Church
  • Catholic Social Teaching
  • Eucharistic Belief
  • Good Person
  • Holy Matrimony
  • Homosexual Marriage
  • How Are We Saved
  • In Virtro Fertilization
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • Justification
  • Male Priesthood
  • Man Woman Marriage
  • Marriage in Heaven
  • Mary Perpetual Virginity
  • Mary’s Predestination
  • Mass Liturgies
  • Must Priests Marry
  • Nature of God
  • Nature of Mass
  • Not Baptized and Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • Once Saved
  • Penal Substitution vs. Sacrifice
  • Praying to Saints
  • Presuppositionalism
  • Priesthood
  • Purgatory (#1)
  • Purgatory (#2)
  • Relationship with God
  • Sacred Tradition
  • Salvation Views
  • Salvation thru the Church
  • Scientism Confession the Dead
  • Sign of the Cross
  • The Good News
  • The Orthodox
  • The Sabbath
  • Unbloody Sacrifice
  • Upon This Rock
  • Why Mass is a Sacrifice

I highly recommend these! Just listen to one (they are only a few minutes long) and I bet you will be hooked. Go ahead, which topic in that list do you have questions about or an interest in?

The library is listed under the Archive tab as one of my special projects and appears as a “badge” in my sidebar. Go there now!

Resources: Called to Communion

Resources Called To Communion

Seven years ago my first “resource” piece was on Catholic Answers. They remain one of the best places for information about the faith and where I would send most people.

Called to Communion is in some ways similar. They are a website, blog, article library, podcasts and radio presence. While smaller than Catholic Answers, their work on average is at a deeper level. They are “theology geeks”, highly educated and very smart.

The CtC authors are converts themselves, specifically from Calvinist (e.g. Presbyterian) backgrounds. They are WELL versed in theology and generally were very skeptical of Catholicism (to put it charitably). Like many of us converts, they never dreamed that they would one day be Catholic!

The authors page lists over 20 outstanding folks. Seminary education is common as is passing through Anglicanism on their way here. In the group is a deacon, five PhDs (plus several PhD candidates), two professors of philosophy, an executive director, several hold Masters of Divinity, an ordained PCA minister, a CRC pastor, a theology teacher, an attorney, an OPC ordained minister, an M.A. in Historical Theology, a Pontifical Faculty of Theology and a Master of Theological Studies. I am sure I missed a lot in this quick survey. Today these guys (and 1 gal) are heavily involved with the faith in their professions, with personal blogs, as book authors and on Catholic radio. Be impressed!

Blog and Articles

The CtC blog includes short posts, often of a timely nature on the liturgical calendar or current events.

The article library is really the heart of the site. The pieces are typically thorough, well researched (with footnotes) and necessarily long. The comments are a goldmine of insights and discussion, often hundreds (or more) replies.

Podcasts and Radio

A growing number of audio podcasts are available for listening or downloading. Some of the podcasts are recordings of earlier radio shows. Like the blog and articles, each includes a comment section with good discussions on the topic.

The radio component is primarily Dr. David Anders’ show, appropriately named Called to Communion. This popular show was previously 1 day per week in EWTN’s “Open Line” time-slot. Several months ago it expended into its own time-slot, 4 days each week. It is on EWTN, Sirius, iHeart and even short wave. Many local Catholic radio stations carry it. It can also be viewed live. This is in a call-in format, particularly inviting non-Catholics to call with their questions or (usually incorrect) assumptions. Dr. Anders is an excellent apologist with a lot of “meat” in his answers. I regularly enjoy these excellent podcasts.

Resources: Chosen courses

Resources Chosen Courses

We fail to reach too many children with outdated and boring catechetical programs. This is beginning to change with excellent programs from publishers like Ascension Press. Their Chosen offering is outstanding. It is available in two 24 lesson formats, one for faith formation and a modified version for confirmation preparation.

While both are targeted at teens, the faith formation series can also be used in any setting people are learning or refreshing their knowledge of the faith. That could be classes welcoming people back, RCIA, parish rediscovering classes or even religious education.

These lessons are exciting, fast-paced and include excellent videos from some of the best young apologists out there. Here, Chris Stefanick (whose videos I often feature in my 7 Quick Takes Friday posts) introduces the program:

The course also has a boat-load of heavy-hitter endorsements, including bishops:

This is more of a parish resource than a personal one. That is, it is probably something that you individually will not buy but is perfect for your parish. Talk to your Religious Education director or pastor about this. Send them the URL for this program: http://ConfirmationStudy.com/. There they will also find previews of the program’s exceptional videos. Watch these videos to see how they will appeal to young folks. They will appeal to you too!

Chosen Introduction

What are you looking for? (Chris Stefanick)

What Happens at Mass? (Brian Butler)

The Problem of Suffering (Fr. Mark Toups)

The Symbols of Baptism (Sarah Swafford)

Where Am I Going? (Chris Stefanick)

“Are you talking to me?” (Jackie Francois)

The Power of Confession (Fr. Mike Schmitz)

What Happens at Confirmation? (Chris Stefanick)

What is a Sacrament? (Sr. Maris Stella)

What is Marriage? (Jason Evert)

How Do I Build Virtue? (Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers)

The Beatitudes (Mary Ann Wiesinger)

Building the Kingdom (Chris Padgett)

This is the new evangelization.

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