Month: November 2012

Back online

Huzzah! St Mary’s has broadband again — and telephone, and EFTPOS. Dunkeld and Koroit are still waiting, and some pockets of Warrnambool and Hamilton aren’t online yet. But some time this morning, the ASDL in my part of town was reconnected. I made do with my iPhone connection this past week, which is good for e-mail and Facebook, but confoundingly slow — especially when everyone else in southwest Victoria is also using Telstra’s 3G network for their Internet. So this Facebook meme was very timely. It certainly resonates: Except I think I’d reverse the...

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To blog or not to blog

This is surprising, to say the least: A poll of U.S. Catholics indicates that while only 5 per cent of respondents said they read or follow blogs on the Catholic Church, faith, or spirituality, 33 per cent of those surveyed said they would like their pastor to have a blog. To be more precise, the 5 per cent bit doesn’t surprise me. My own blog consumption ebbs and flows, and I can go weeks without reading blogs — much less blogging myself. But the 33 per cent bit surprises me a lot. I wonder where the other two thirds of respondents sit? There must be a sizeable minority who think it’s a contemptible waste of time — a group I sometimes identify with myself. There are many ways to exercise the apostolate, and blogging isn’t at the top of my list. Still, I’ll perservere. When I’ve got something interesting to ponder, I like blogging. But long gone is the naive resolution to post daily, or at least several times a week, just for the sake of maintaining an audience. That’s not a good use of time — for me, or for readers. The Oatmeal (a web cartoonist) makes a good point about this: In fact, the Oatmeal’s entire post about writing for the web is worth reading. His observations about web-based feedback is spot on. Here he explains why he disables comments...

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clergy.asn.au redux

The long and sorry saga of my website for the Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy has, I hope, come to a triumphant end! In the beginning, Fr Paul Anthony McGavin, longtime editor of The Priest posted an electronic archive of the journal at the now-defunct australian-ccc.org: Then Dr Chris Steward, webmaster of Melbourne’s Catholic Community of JH Newman website, prepared a website which processed electronic registrations for the ACCC’s 2010 international conference in Rome. The also now-defunct www.yearforpriests-clergyconferencerome2010.org: In 2011 I was approached to produce a website which integrated the electronic archive and electronic registration for conferences and membership. So I produced the first version of www.clergy.asn.au; a design I was very pleased with: Within a few months, however, the website was down and gone forever. It had been hacked, and I had foolishly neglected to maintain a back up. (Sound familiar? My blog met with a similar fate. These days, I back up everything!) A new site was half-heartedly developed, which had much stronger security credentials, but which I never really liked. It looked dated from the start: But now, after many months of enjoyable design and tedious data entry, a new and hopefully permanent website is in operation: This third version has the advantages of the first (it is functional and attractive) and the second (it is secure and backed up). But I think it is an improvement...

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Lessons for the pro-life cause

Tuesday’s general election struck a blow for the progressive movement in America. President Obama was re-elected, the Democrats increased their Senate majority, same-sex marriage was endorsed in four states and recreational cannabis was legalised in two. But there was one (so-called) progressive measure which was defeated. Massachusetts, home to the Kennedys and a bastion of progressive politics, rejected legalised euthanasia 51%-49%. That’s a narrow margin, but the No campaign calls it a resounding victory. In the space of six weeks, it seems the No campaign swayed 16% of voters. A mid-September poll found “Nearly two-thirds, or 64 percent, of...

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Weird, counter-intuitive ad

Every now and then I come across something which reinforces just how far apart the pro-life and pro-choice positions are. It never fails to startle me. This political advertisement is an excellent example. I would have thought that a series of children speaking to their mothers about the future could only be used to advance a pro-life case. But apparently not. What do you think? Isn’t this ad just a little bit illogical? I couldn’t help thinking, as I watched, that these kids are lucky to have survived the abortion culture! I can envisage a sequel to this ad...

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Recent Comments

  • Fr John on The boundless limits of God’s mercy: “In further research, I learned that Höss did endure cruelty in one Krakow prison which "almost had me at the…Apr 10, 18:38
  • Peter on The boundless limits of God’s mercy: “This is where as a mere mortal I cannot begin to understand the depth of God’s forgiveness. I…Apr 10, 18:06
  • Peter on 12 Rules For Life: “I have the book, it is terrific.Apr 5, 06:10
  • Fr John on The Easter story: “Thanks Peter! It's a new resolution of mine to blog at least three times a week. Hence the "renovations," to…Apr 2, 22:28
  • Peter on The Easter story: “Dear Father it is a long time between posts. I always look forward to your posts. I pop in every…Apr 2, 12:46
  • Terry Maher on Living the sabbath: “Thank you Father John for celebrating the Mass for Life on January 27.Jan 5, 14:17
  • Maryse on Living the sabbath: “Sundays is the heaviest workday for priests – but what a great schedule for their usual day off, Monday, Father!…Jan 4, 09:09
  • Caroline on Living the sabbath: “I need the opposite – more work and less rest! There are too many sabbath days in my week! My…Jan 2, 12:40
  • Peter on Choosing an Advent motto: “Thank you Father, for your writings, I find them very inspiringDec 18, 18:24
  • Cisca on The loneliness of the priest: “Thank you for sharing such a beautiful insight to priesthood life.Dec 14, 13:29