By Woodeene Koenig-Bricker
If you Google the word "Catholic," you'll come up with about 126 million hits. Even if you did nothing but look at Catholic websites for the rest of your life, you still wouldn't be able to visit them all. So we've looked at 105 of the top Catholic sites on the Web. If we've missed one of your favorites, let us know!
These are the first sites a search for "Catholic" will give you. As with everything on the Web, first isn't necessarily best, so heed the old warning caveat emptor -- buyer beware!
Wikipedia is the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, so the information here should be checked against other, more orthodox sources.
A comprehensive site with news, links, saints, directories and Scripture, it offers an easily searchable database.
One of the largest Catholic lay apologetics site, it also offers links to the original Catholic encyclopedia and This Rock magazine archives.
The homepage of the Franciscan magazine, St. Anthony Messenger, this site offers a sampler from e-cards to movie reviews to saint of the day.
The Catholic Encyclopedia
This includes online text of the original 15 volumes of history, teaching and general information from the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia. It's excellent for historical research, but does not reflect modern thought or teaching.
Network of social service organizations in the United States.
Catholic Relief Services
The official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community.
Catholic Network of Volunteer Service
Listing of more than 200 volunteer opportunities in the United States and overseas.
A forum and discussion area for Catholics.
Information on Catholic life sponsored by Trinity Communications.
Free resources for Catholic catechists.
Catholic Educator's Resource Center
Resource library of the Church's moral and social teachings.
Favorite Resources for Catholic Homeschoolers
Information for Catholic homeschoolers.
Seton Home Study School
Largest Catholic home schooling program in the United States.
Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
Free online e-cards with Catholic inspiration.
Pope Benedict Fan Club
Just what it says -- a fan club for the pope.
Midi music of favorite Catholic hymns.
Clean Catholic jokes.
The only Catholic area on Christianity.com.
Prayers, saints, Scripture, Church teachings.
Catholic beliefs, prayers, spiritual teaching.
The Internet Padre: A Roman Catholic Resource on the World Wide Web
Directory of links to Catholic resources.
Catholic area of the general religious/spirituality site.
Americans United for Life
National Right to Life
The ultimate goal of the National Right to Life Committee is to restore legal protection to innocent human life.
Human Life International
International pro-life organization.
Couple to Couple League
Information on natural family planning.
Pure Love Club
Abstinence education from Catholic Answers.
Our Sunday Visitor
Home of Our Sunday Visitor, with news, information and archives.
Programs in 40 different languages from 61 different countries.
Zenit -- The World Seen from Rome
International news agency focusing on the Vatican and the Church.
Catholic World News
Global news coverage with Catholic emphasis.
Catholic News Service
The oldest and largest news service specializing in reporting on religion.
EWTN Global Catholic Network
Site of the Eternal Word Television Network with TV, radio and library resources.
News, comments, reviews, movies, blogs from well-known authors.
General interest magazine for American Catholics.
Online magazine for spiritual seekers in their 20s and 30s from the Paulists.
Online magazine covering politics, science, economy and the arts.
The Holy See
All major Church documents, papal writings, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, art and even "secret" archives can be found here. The search engine is a bit cumbersome, and not all documents are available in English, but it's still the first place for all things Catholic.
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
The official site of the U.S. Catholic bishops includes an online Bible, the Catechism, publications, movie reviews and more.
Current and historical information about bishops and dioceses.
Knights of Columbus
Home of the world's foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society.
An extensive collection of papal encyclicals and other papal documents from the current pope back to Pope Honorius (1226).
Sacred Scripture, its interpretation in light of Sacred Tradition and the teachings of the magisterium, with appropriate theological commentary and exegesis.
Catholic Liturgical Library
All things related to the Latin rite of the liturgy.
Code of Canon Law
Entire code of canon law online.
History of Catholicism in the United States.
Catholic Biblical Association of America
Association for scholarly study in Scripture.
List of all Catholic shrines in the United States.
Information about the devotion to Divine Mercy.
Official site of the shrine at Lourdes, with online prayer requests.
Index of Patron Saints
Ideal for confirmation names.
Biographies of many of the saints of the Catholic Church.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patronness of the Americas
Extensive information on Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
Virtual Holy Land Tour
Visit the Holy Land from your computer.
Online Guide to Saint Benedict of Nursia
The life of St. Benedict and instruction on Benedictine theology and modern monasticism.
Two thousand Scripture citations from the Old and New Testaments defend the Church's teachings.
New American Bible
New American Bible online with search engine.
St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology
Resources for Bible study from Scott Hahn.
The Catholic Company
Books, gifts and statues that are uniquely Catholic.
Art inspired by the sacred places of the world.
Stella Maris Books
Books, gifts, hard-to-find liturgical items, statues.
Famous religious art work from great Catholic artists over the centuries.
Your Aging Parent
Spiritual resources and information for Catholic caregivers.
For men and women who wish to live chaste lives in accordance with the Church's teaching on homosexuality. There is a link to Encourage, a ministry for parents and siblings of people with same-sex attraction.
Mirror of Justice
Blog dedicated to Catholic legal theory.
Dr. Edward Peters' canon law resources.
Catholic singles and dating site.
Catholics in the Military
Site for Catholics serving in the armed forces, their families and loved ones.
Catholics Come Home
Ministry for fallen-away Catholics who wish to return to the Church.
Site of St. Joseph's Covenant Keepers, a site for husbands and dads.
Family Life Center International
Articles on faith and family life with Catholic emphasis.
Catholic Youth Networking
Networking site for Catholic youth.
Faith-sharing website for young Catholic adults.
Job listings in Catholic organizations.
Resource for sacred liturgical music.
Association of Hebrew Catholics
Designed to preserve the identity and heritage of Catholics of Jewish origin within the Church.
Veritas Financial Ministers
Financial advice from a faithful Catholic perspective.
A 24-hour webcam at St. Martin of Tours Church in Louisville, Ky.
Online daily prayer and Scripture from the Irish Jesuits.
Times and places of Masses around the world.
Nearly 3,000 Catholic prayers from ancient to modern times.
A list of 182 novenas on virtually every topic imaginable.
Daily Liturgy of the Hours.
Office of Readings (British website, so texts and feast days may differ somewhat from U.S. texts).
The Mary Page
Home of the largest collection of materials on Mary, from the University of Dayton in Ohio.
Sodality of Our Lady
Our great-grandmothers shared their lives as they chatted across the back fence. We still want to let others know what's happening, but now we do it through blogs -- short for web log, an online journal where individuals or groups communicate information, thoughts, pictures.
Many Catholics with blogs are members of St. Blog's, which is not a real parish, but rather a loosely knit group of Catholics who maintain these personal journals. Some are "professional" Catholics, including clergy, religious, teachers, writers, journalists and authors, but most are just ordinary Catholics who share their lives and faith. Many are listed in The St. Blog's Parish Directory at stblogsparish.com/blogs/bloglist.php.Some popular Catholic blogs include:
Cardinal Seán's Blog
Catholic and Enjoying It!
Charlotte was Both
Creative Minority Report
Domine, da mihi hanc aquam!
The New Liturgical Movement
The Shrine of the Holy Whapping
What Does the Prayer Really Say?
Whispers in the Loggia
Want to hear Pope John Paul II praying the Luminous Mysteries? Long to attend daily Mass but are house-bound? Wish you could get techno-savvy kids interested in Church history? Then check out Catholic podcasts. A podcast is a digital recording of an audio or video broadcast available on the Internet that can be heard or watched on a computer or downloaded to a personal player like an iPod. You download your favorite program and then watch or listen whenever it's convenient. With audio podcasts, you can listen in your car, on an airplane or while waiting for appointments.
If you don't want to keep checking for new podcasts, you can have them automatically downloaded to your computer as they come out. Go to www.itunes.com, download and install the free iTunes program on your computer. Once you've done that, you can then go to the iTunes music store online, search for the name of the show you want, and subscribe to it. Once you've entered your information, iTunes will download new episodes to your computer as soon as they come out.
The Star Quest Production Network
According to its mission statement, SQPN (Star Quest Production Network) is a multimedia organization specializing in the production of audio and video programs faithful to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The video and audio productions are in various languages to reach an international audience and cover topics ranging from Q and As about the faith to the pope and even to Catholic humor.
Disciples with Microphones
Disciples with Microphones features more than 50 podcasts from well-known Catholics, including Cardinal Francis Arinze, Father Stan Fortuna and Michael Barone.
This site lists resources and various podcasts from parishes and individuals.
Daily Mass Readings
The American bishops offer a daily podcast of Mass readings as well as other podcasts that are both informative and spiritually uplifting.
Caveat: Youtube is the premier video sharing website which allows individuals to upload, view and share their video clips. While you can find Catholic offerings such as lectures, Masses and even hymns, you'll also encounter anti-Catholic diatribes and other offensive materials, so search carefully and view cautiously.
Another way to obtain your daily Catholic fix is through e-mail. Typically you are asked to subscribe by filling out a form with your e-mail address. Then the information is automatically sent to your e-mail box every morning.
The daily readings, Psalm and saint of the day in a free, personalized e-mail.
Vatican Information Service
The daily newsletter from the Holy See Press Office is available through free subscription. You can choose from several languages.
Daily news from the international news agency Zenit can be received via e-mail subscription.
Blog: A web log or journal that is available online.
Blogcast: A combination blog and podcast.
Cyber: A prefix used to describe something high-tech.
E-mail: Electronic mail.
Favorites: A way in browsers to store links to websites you want to return to. Also known as Favorites.
IM: Short for instant messaging (see above)
Http: Hypertext Transfer Protocol is a communications protocol for the transfer of information on the intranet and the World Wide Web.
Internet or Net: worldwide, publicly accessible series of interconnected computer networks.
Podcast: Digital media files which are distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and computers. Podcast can mean either the content itself or to the method by which it is syndicated (which is also called podcasting). The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster.
RSS: Short for "real simple syndication," it is a format for storing online information in a way that makes that information readable by lots of different kinds of software.
RSS newsreader: This gathers news from multiple blogs or websites via RSS, allowing readers to access all their news from a single web site or program.
Social networking: Websites that help people connect with friends or discover new friends or colleagues by illuminating shared interests, related skills or a common geographic location. Examples include Facebook and Linked In.
Streaming Media: multimedia received over a telecommunications network such as a television or computer feed as opposed to non-streaming media, such as books or audio cassettes.
Web: a system of interlinked documents and pages accessed via the Internet.
Web 2.0: Term for advanced Internet technology and applications such as RSS and wikis that encourage greater interaction and collaboration among users.
Wiki: A type of website that allows users to add, remove or edit conent. Wikipedia is the most famous example. "Wiki" means quick in Hawaiian.
Please note: Comments left online may be considered for publication in the Letters to the Editor section of OSV Newsweekly.
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