I was thinking back to the Catholic blogosphere, and to what finally got me to start blogging about a decade ago. I was skeptical about it. I wondered if blogging had already jumped the shark. Probably too late to join in, I thought. The old blogspot site is still living, I see.
I went back to the October 2003 posts. Seem pretty tame.
I recall that Fall was a heady time for the Catholic blogosphere. Not many progressives online. While there were a few Big Name Bloggers, practically everybody was running it out of their own shop, so to speak. Not many publishers in the game at that point. I don’t think Father Z had made the switch over from message boards yet.
Everybody was blogging about Terri Schiavo that month. The DaVinci Code too. US adventurism in southwest Asia was still a feel-good thing for many Catholics.
Personally, it was a very arduous time in ministry. The second year in a parish, for me, is always the toughest. Three times I didn’t survive the place for a third year. I stayed put in Kansas City for six, and I’m still reflecting on lessons gained from it all. This quote from October 30th has a bit more behind it:
I had heard through the grapevine that a few parishioners are grumbling about the new choir. “Why do we need another thing for kids? Let them do it in the school, where that kind of thing belongs.” *Sigh* It’s a good parish, but it has so far to go.
It was a good parish. It still is, from what I hear from afar. I remember arguing for Christmas and Easter publicity with the pastor. I lost that one. He didn’t understand why, when the church was packed for Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday, we would want to invite more people to come. I wasn’t as evangelically aware in those days, but it still seemed right to tell the community who we were and that we were here, ready to welcome all.
The big parish controversy that Fall of ’03, as I recall it, was that someone in the loft choir (which I didn’t direct or accompany) was upset because I said they did “Protestant” music. Which they did. The choir members didn’t know better–they had fifteen years with the same director, who usually went to the big Protestant publishers for performance pieces. I actually got called into the pastor’s office on that one. Sort of reminiscent of grade school. And deck chairs.
It’s curious how people who don’t know you are fairly quick to misjudge when they feel threatened. It was like that online, too.
I was looking over the blogroll from the old site, too. I kept it fairly well updated, and it included a mix of blogs from the ideological sides of the Church. Most of them are dormant or rarely updated. But a few bloggers continue, mostly on new sites. There’s a lot of change in seven to ten years.
Many of you readers have been with me for years. They seem to pass quickly, don’t you think? What do you see as the biggest changes in the Catholic blogs over the past decade?