Friday, May 25, 2007

Check It Out

I found two websites recently that are just too good to keep to myself. You may already know about them, but they were new to me, so I was excited when I found them.

The first is a website by Fr. Robert Barron and the Archdiocese of Chicago, called Word on Fire. The site says this about Fr. Barron:
Fr. Robert Barron was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1986. He has a Masters degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America and a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Institute Catholique de Paris. He is currently professor of systematic theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary. Fr. Barron is the author of four books, including Thomas Aquinas: Spiritual Master, And Now I See: A Theology of Transformation, and most recently, Heaven in Stone and Glass: Experiencing the Spirituality of the Great Cathedrals. He also gives frequent talks, retreats and workshops on issues of theology and spirituality.
What's great is that Fr. Barron makes short videos commenting on subjects from modern-day culture and hosts them on YouTube. These videos are pretty good too. The three most recent videos are on his website (you can view all 7 here). He also has an extensive collection of sermons in mp3 format dating back to 2001. That's hours upon hours of good Catholic preaching. If that doesn't make you giddy I don't know what will.

The other website is a Catholic podcasting network called sqpn (Star Quest Production Network). Here is a little bit of their 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. Its mission is to respond to the Church’s call to use the media for religious information, for evangelization and catechesis and for formation and education.
Maybe I'm stupid, but I've never seen a website like this, where so many great Catholic podcasts are all in one place. The design is great and easy to navigate too. If I had an awesome podcast, I'd want to align myself with these people.

Anytime I find a website with free content--and lots of it--I get psyched. Tons of articles, tons of videos, tons of mp3's --That's what I'm all about. Bring on the resources! Finding great Catholic content on the internet has become a hobby of mine, and I love it. That's why the Catholic Defense Directory is what it is, and that's why my sidebar is what it is. If you find some great content hidden away somewhere, please let me know. And, of course, as I find more and more stuff, I'll make sure I pass it along.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

4 comments:

Bryan said...

The sqpn shows have been in the top one hundred on itunes on and off. They are pretty good, especially the rosary army one.

Susan Bailey said...

If you want to find out everything you ever wanted to know about the contemporary Catholic music scene, check out GrapeVine Magazine and the GrapeVine News Minute podcast at www.gvonline.net.

Anonymous said...

You have a great website ... I really enjoyed your lost ATM post as I've been there and it's hard to think of anything but "the card, the card." But I'd like to extend an invite to you to stop by my husband's site that has a goodly amount of Catholic/Notre Dame articles. Let us know what you think ... (Your site is really nicely set up!!!) -Jeanette, (www.fightingirishthomas.net)

phatcatholic said...

Jeanette,

Thanks for showing me your husband's website. You asked me to let you know what I think, so I thought I would suggest a few things.

First of all, there's way too many ads and banners. Generally speaking, readers don't like to wade through all that in order to find the actual content.

Also, three columns can be overwhelming for the reader. It's too much to try to look at all at once. It's also a hassle because after you scroll down, reading the first column, you have to scroll back up to read the second column then back up again to read the third column. Its easier for the reader to have one column for content and another for links, buttons, widgets, etc.

Thirdly, I think you need a more coordinated color scheme. The colors you have now just don't seem to go together well. There's too many different colors too: dark blue, light blue, brown, tan, red, black.

Finally, there's a few little things I would change. For example, the title of each blog post is only partially underlined, there's way too many links at the end of each post (del.ici.ous, digg, reddit, save, subscribe, etc.), and too much space above the title of each post.

In general, you need to try a more minimalistic approach. Your blog is just too cluttered right now. I think it's trying to do too much. Anyway, I hope you don't take offense to this. I'm just trying to be helpful.

Pax Christi,
Nick Hardesty, aka "phatcatholic"

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