Sister Julie Vieira is funny, honest, informative and thought-provoking in her blog, which could easily be renamed, “100 Things You’ve Always Wanted to Ask a Nun But Were Afraid to Ask.” Many readers might be surprised to learn that a “nun’s life” is more than praying, being modest and disciplining grade-school children (see her posts that address nun stereotypes). And even more readers will be surprised to read her blog posts about sexuality and “nuns who rock.” In many ways, Sister Julie is much like us: She can’t operate without her morning coffee, she has a pet cat, she likes to surf the Web (she recently gave in to Twitter) and she’s got a full-time job. She’s also got a lot of online friends. (Click here for Sister Julie’s links to more blogs operated by fantastic nuns, one of which is Sister Helena Burns, who poses with Darth Vader in her profile photo.)
This simple site does a great job of keeping the homepage fresh and relevant. Near the top, important and timely links are provided: current week’s happenings, Sunday
meditations, ministry schedules and more. Scroll a bit to learn about upcoming events, and browse the site’s main navigation to learn about the church’s mission, various ministries and religious-education programs. St. Raphael provides a lot of information about the church’s adult faith-formation program and liturgy, but the site’s text is easy to read and digest. Follow a link on the homepage to the associate pastor’s blog, where you can find Father Pat Mulcahey’s reflections throughout the Easter season, homilies and links to scripture and countless Catholic sites and blogs.
In just days the pope will be making his trip to the U.S, an event the Pope Benedict Fan Club has been anticipating for months. (The papal visit blog has archives reaching back to August of last year!) You can find details about the pope’s visit (including unofficial events like the party to celebrate the Benedict’s 81st birthday), commentary from Catholic, interfaith and political leaders, and links to blogs, podcasts, news articles—just about everything related to the papal trip. While you’re at the site, be sure to check out FAQs, a pope forum and the fan club’s Benedict Blog, which has archives starting from the Holy Father’s first days as leader of the Church.