Download a PDF of the Internet Guide here
The number of Catholic-oriented websites has exploded, and keeping track of the ones that are truly useful gets harder as they proliferate.
Some sites are obvious keepers, like the sites of the Vatican or bishops' conferences. And most Catholic Internet surfers are aware of some of the larger sites like invaluable news aggregator www.newadvent.org.
But what about those hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered by a broader audience?
For this third edition of OSV Newsweekly's annual Catholic Internet Guide, we turned to OSV readers, for your top picks.
We asked you (via a survey on our blog, www.osvdailytake.com) for your favorites in four main categories: spirituality, news and resources, opinion, and community building.
We also asked for your favorite Catholic "apps," programs that run on your smart phone (see this page).
On the back page of the guide, you'll find the top picks of five popular Catholic bloggers.
May your surfing deepen your faith!
"It has opened up the Liturgy of the Hours to me in a way far beyond books, which I admit always confused me."— Geraldine Hildreth
"Beautifully written reflections on Scripture and life by columnist for Catholic paper, mother and wife." — M.M.
"A daily meditation from Jesuits in Britain consisting of guided prayer, music and a Scripture reading available for MP3 download for listeners 'on the go.'"— Mike
"Peace on the Web."— Dan Nemec
Blessed Is the Kingdom
"Lovely blog by a younger diocesan priest in Tennessee on matters spiritual."— Susan Windley-Daoust
"Lots of resources!"— Damar M.
"Great devotional and awesome podcasts."— Erik Mojica
Vita Nostra in Ecclesia
"[This blog has] much of what the pope says, and you don't have to hunt for it."— Patrice Egging
St. Josemaría Escrivá
"St. Escriva's meditations are the best way to start my day."— Lorraine Curtin
"It's beautiful, and I love the downloads!"— David C. Paternostro, S.J.
Visit the Savior
"Video feed to an adoration chapel."— Geoff Tipley
"Homilies and meditations."— Linda
Reflections and Ruminations
"Father Luke Fong from Singapore writes weekly reflections that are worthy of the time of anyone wanting to grow in their faith."— Phillip Shifflet
"Full of thousands of spiritually uplifting quotes of the saints."— J.W.
These Stone Walls
"His humility and clarity in sharing his faith goes a long way in helping to increase mine."— Teresa Egger
"Sermons with clarity, essential for spiritual growth."— Deena Azaroff
"Tiptop Scripture scholars contribute at an understandable level and are open to questions."— M.W.
"This site offers great depth and insight into a hidden Carthusian spirituality."— Tom Venzor
"Always a place to receive inspiration and encouragement through God's word."— Kathryn
The Devout Life
"It is just a good spiritual retreat for me."— Joe
"Lisa Hendey's outstanding website for Catholic moms."— Peggy
Faith and Family Live
"I love the variety of Catholic issues addressed pertaining to the family, especially Danielle Bean and the open forum question daily sections."
— Mary Cordes
Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association
"Community for evangelization."— Margaret
The Integrated Catholic Life
"Great writers; great content; excellent variety."— Hugh Hayman
The Coming Home Network International
"It really helped me to realize I needed to come home to the Church."— A.R.
Catholics Come Home
"If for nothing else than the commercials."— Jayna Hoffacker
Family Life Center International
"A wonderful collection of articles and resources on marriage and family life."— Jerry Sanderson
For Your Marriage
"Lots of great resources for married couples and those studying about the sacrament sponsored by the USCCB."— Sr. M.J.
"A site operated by Catholic Answers, it teaches teens to stay chaste and how to resist the temptation which today's modern and confused society teaches."— Cameron Manning
"This is a GREAT Catholic website geared toward youth, with a forum, Catholic apologetics information, links and downloads like desktop wallpaper."— Katie Ostrom
Couple to Couple League
"Great site about family and marriage."— Jack Felsheim
Online resources for fathers about family life.— Recommended by Daniel Coon
"Forums, message boards, youth events."— Adam Donnellon
One More Soul
"Excellent for singles and families."— Sherry McMahon
"Great for finding films that I can watch with the kiddos."— John Carswell
"Everything Catholic, all in the one place."— David Obeid
Fathers for Good
"K of C website, geared especially toward fathers and male spirituality."— Tom Ormon II
Resources for married couples.— A.R.
"One-of-a-kind resource in this difficult time."— Tim
NEWS AND RESOURCES
Catholic Education Resource Center
"This site keeps me up-to-date on what's happening in the world and the Church."— Charlene Bourcier
The Catholic Laboratory
"A great site, featuring a great podcast by a Catholic who is a scientist, about famous Catholic scientists and Catholic relevant science news."— Richard Clinnick
Life Site News
News about pro-life, family and culture issues.— Andrew Blake
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
"For daily readings and meditations."— Heidi Richnafsky
Our Sunday Visitor
"OSV ... has everything in one place."— Maureen Zeiss
"This site is easy to navigate and has easy-to-read, solid Catholic reflections and liturgical guides as well as news."— Sr. M.J.
"Catholic Answers' apologetics tracts are a valuable resource for anyone wanting to grow in their knowledge of the faith."— Phillip Shifflet
"The best place to find Catholic new media and the relevance of the Church in pop culture."— Steve Nelson
St. Paul Center For Biblical Theology
"Lots of free resources like Bible studies, audio lecture series, and academic works by Dr. Scott Hahn and others."— Julie
Catholic Bible 101
"Lots of info on the scriptural basis of the Catholic Church."— Ray Ranzau
"This site has an online Catholic encyclopedia, daily readings, prayers and devotions, forum, news articles, and vocation information."— Katie Ostrom
"A home page that has everything I like from Catholic blogs to Catholic news to regular news."— Sophie
Zenit — World Seen from Rome
"If you don't subscribe to the Vatican newspaper, this is the next best thing for the Holy Father's messages and news from Rome."— Tena Conil
Catholic News Agency
"I like their newsfeed, and they have extensive papal and other documents, and many other resources."— Lo
"News AND encyclopedia, giving both older info and current!"— C.D. Carroll
Vatican Information Service
"The best source for news from the heart of the Church."— Geraldine Hildreth
Eternal Word Television Network
Television, radio and multimedia links from the Eternal Word Television Network.— suggested byAngela Comeaux
The Catholic Conservation Center provides an extensive online library of the Church's teaching on ecology and the environment.
Spiritual Food for Thought
"Always focused on getting closer to Jesus, keeps in close contact with magisterium while still exploring 'modern prophesy' type things."— Marilyn Heller
Domine, da mihi hanc aquam!
"A blog maintained by a St. Joseph's Province Dominican, which includes his homilies from Mass."— David C. Paternostro, S.J.
Whispers in the Loggia
"Great updates on recent happenings within the Church."— Luke Condit
Standing on my Head
"Stimulating articles, meditations on readings and saints from a parish priest with a wide background. Inspiring."— Anne Gomes
"Former Episcopal priest Taylor Marshall's enthusiasm for sharing everything he learns about the Catholic faith is very informative and engaging, especially for other converts to the Catholic faith from Protestant traditions."— Marilyn Lingenfelter
On This Rock
"This is the blog of Father John Hollowell, young priest and high school chaplain, of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis."— Anthony Basso
What Does the Prayer Really Say?
"Unfathomably valuable resource."— Leah
A Minor Friar
"He has such thoughtful and original posts."— George Edwards
"A magnificent hodgepodge, doesn't take itself too seriously."— Steve Pearse
"Superb site with a unique and very Catholic perspective on single life. I don't know of anything else like it!"— Julie
"Good, all-encompassing theological site with great design!"— T.D.J.
"The author always finds the best sources for spiritual gems, and also opens up his own heart."— Anita Moore
Acts of the Apostasy
"Makes me smile or sigh almost always."— M. Decaire
The Shrine of the Holy Whapping
"Hilariously informative."— Jayna Hoffacker
"If you're wanting good, reliable Catholic thoughts coming from an educated and experienced Catholic wife and mother, this is the place."— Sr. M.J.
"Good intellectual thoughtful op-ed on matters in the Church and spiritual life by a deacon in Salt Lake City."— Susan Windley-Daoust
"Mother, author, former atheist. Very honest perspective, and humorous!"— Regina Sutherland
Archdiocese of Washington
"The posts by Msgr. Pope never fail to add insight. Good comments, too."— Paul
CATHOLICS IN THE KNOW
We asked some popular Catholic bloggers to name their favorite sites. Check out their answers, some of which we had to trim to fit on this page.
And be sure to bookmark their blogs, too!
1. Creative Minority Report
News and commentary from a Catholic perspective, topped with a heaping dose of wit from brothers Matthew and Patrick Archbold. What more could you ask for in a blog?
2. Patrick Madrid
What I love about Patrick Madrid's blog is that you never know what you're going to get: One day it might be a funny Youtube video, the next day it might be in-depth commentary on a serious issue. But whatever he posts, it's always good.
3. Betty Duffy
I don't know if what Betty Duffy publishes on her blog should really be called "blog posts"; they're more like fine essays, crafted with care and perfection. She discusses everything from daily life with kids to the deepest mysteries of the Faith, giving me something new to think about every time.
Jennifer Fulwiler writes the Conversion Diary blog (www.conversiondiary.com) and writes a column on the Catholic online world for Envoy magazine.
Yes, it's a nun site. Sue me. When my Benedictine heart longs to connect with some monastics, these Dominican nuns from Summit, N.J., feed my spirit with their practical, day-to-day rhythm of prayer, work, study and play. A visit to their site is like taking a stethoscope to the beating heart of the Church, and getting a reassuring echo back.
2. Happy Catholic
This is another soul-stirrer. The site is run by a woman who seems to breathe in books and art, and she has a remarkable capacity for zeroing in on one sentence and bringing it to the fore, for the benefit of many. The site has pop culture, jokes, thoughtful meditations, cues to prayer — it is a dynamic portrait of a life lived — Happily Catholic.
3. (tie) The Crescat and Savior.org
Torn between her instincts toward silence and sensuality, Crescat's Nun-and-Swiss-Guard obsessed Carolina Cannonball never fails to make me laugh out loud with one post, only to move me to stillness and wonder with the next, often without text. Once again, it is Catholic-living-out-loud in the world.
Savior.org is not really a blog, it is a simple live videofeed of the Blessed Sacrament, on the monastic altar of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, hidden off camera. Adoration, available 24/7, in shadows and in light.
Elizabeth Scalia, aka The Anchoress, writes a popular First Things blog at www.firstthings.com/blogs/theanchoress.
FATHER JAMES MARTIN, S.J.
Superb commentary on an eclectic mix of current events, Church affairs and Christian spirituality. You'll also find probably the best and most intelligent comments in the Catholic blogosphere, well managed and policed to keep out (most of) the crazies.
2. Disputations at Politics Daily
David Gibson, a seasoned reporter and a veteran Vaticanologist, is someone you can count on to get the facts straight, and he offers insights and makes connections you hadn't considered. And his terrific book on the pope ("The Rule of Benedict") means that he knows what he's talking about when it comes to the Vicar of Christ.
3. Busted Halo
This website for avowed "seekers" is just as valuable to devout Catholics. Bill McGarvey, the site's editor, has a knack for drawing together timely reporting, professional videos, interesting interviews and cheeky graphics to draw in people to the faith.
Father James Martin, culture editor of America magazine, blogs for In All Things group blog (www.americamagazine.org/blog/blog.cfm?blogid=2), and is the author of "The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything."
1. New Advent
Run by the redoubtable Kevin Knight, New Advent mines the headlines for all the good stuff that pertains to the Catholic Church. Think of it as a sort of Catholic Drudge Report, only without the trashy garbage about Lindsay Lohan or politicians in love trysts. If you want to know what's going on in the Church, from the serious to the whimsical, Kevin's your guy. Plus he has the Summa Theologiae and the Catholic Encyclopedia, as well as a whole raft of Church documents.
2. Catholic Exchange
A web portal for Catholics featuring 50 bazillion gobs of information, daily features (including a Wednesday feature and Words of Encouragement penned by Yr Obdt Svt) and lots of other stuff from a huge stable of some of the best Catholic writers in print, the bishops of the American Church and columnists from the mainstream media.
3 (tie) Inside Catholic and National Catholic Register
www.insidecatholic.com and ncregister.com
Finally, I like (and write for) both Inside Catholic and the National Catholic Register. But they have a wide variety of writers talking about everything under the sun, and that suits me fine. Between them, you get pretty good coverage of what's happening in the Catholic world on a daily basis.
Mark Shea is senior content editor at CatholicExchange.com and writes the Catholic and Enjoying It! blog at markshea.blogspot.com. He's also an OSV author!
DEACON GREG KANDRA
1. Whispers in the Loggia
Rocco Palmo has almost single-handedly reinvented the Catholic press, by removing the "press" part and giving the world some of the most vibrant and engaging Church news from the confines of his own laptop. He's part Walter Winchell, part Ben Hecht, with a little Ernie Pyle on the side. But ultimately he's pure Rocco, telling the story of the Catholic Church in the 21st century like no one else.
2. A Concord Pastor Comments
Father Austin Fleming, in Concord, Mass., crafts one of the most consistently endearing and heartfelt faith blogs anywhere. It's also one of the most soothing and uplifting, with gorgeous images that help to illuminate his thoughtful prose. His homilies are small pearls, and his morning meditations never fail to lift my spirits and stir my heart.
3. (tie) In All Things and Cardinal Sean's Blog
America Magazine's group blog is chock-full of news nuggets and provocative thought. Frequent contributor Father James Martin always has something valuable to add to any discussion.
Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley was one of the first bishops to blog, and his weekly postings remain must-reads.
Deacon Greg Kandra, who serves in the Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y., and is news director of its cable channel, writes the Deacon's Bench blog at blog.beliefnet.com/deaconsbench.
These apps can be found in the app store of your mobile device.
Catholic Mass Times Church Directory
Helps you quickly find the nearest churches and Mass times.
Mass readings, calendar, lectionary.
Learn the notes, teach it to others, remind yourself of the starting notes.
Prayers inspired by the Liturgy of the Hours; daily meditations drawn from the writings of the Church Fathers as well as recent spiritual masters; and essays on the lives of the saints from yesterday and today.
Stay in touch with what's happening in Rome by listening to the official Vatican station in your own language.
Enjoy interviews, news and music with Father Jay Finelli that will inspire you and help you grow in your faith.
Holy Rosary Deluxe
Allows you to customize music and choose the color of beads you like while you pray the Rosary.
Stations of the Cross
Includes Stations of the Cross for children and in Latin.
Versewise (Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition)
The Catholic Bible at your fingertips.
Liturgical calendar for every year from 1970 to 2300 and beyond. Includes feasts and celebrations according to the general calendar.
Answers 4 Catholics
Quick access to hundreds of Bible verses to help you in defending Catholic doctrine.
Comprehensive guide about the Catholic faith.
More than 2,300 pages of Gregorian chant compiled for use throughout the liturgical year.
Confession handbook and guide.
Calculates and displays some of the important days in the ecclesiastical year.
Streams episodes of the SaintCast from anywhere.
Works like a traditional Rosary, but tells you the prayers and remembers your place.
Thanks to everyone who contributed, especially our great readers!
You can always let us know what you think at email@example.com.