Question for Catholics

Can anyone recommend any popular Catholicism themed message boards? Also, does anyone know of any official or highly reputable Catholic websites for “newbies”? …Something geared for people who are interested in learning about, or possibly considering converting to Catholicism, and want to find a local church. I hate the hassle of having to shift through all the good and potentially bad websites from the 7 million hits I get on Yahoo! Thank you! :slight_smile:

This is so weird…I was just on one that I really like, and thinking that there are one or two people from the SDMB who are also new Catholics or about-to-become Catholics who might enjoy it (if they don’t know about it already). This was literally about 10 minutes ago. Maybe the Holy Spirit is working through you! :slight_smile:

Anyway, it is the message board at I really like it. It’s pretty conservative, though…don’t know what your stripe is, but I find that a lot of newbies prefer the old-fashioned style religion. If I am wrong in your case, maybe someone else can suggest some other options.

This is a Catholic message board I often lurk on and occasionally post:

(Sorry, I can’t do that cool turn-a-link-into-a-real-word thingy)

I love the Catholic Online Forum. I post there under this same user name.

CTNGreg is a good one for those Catholics interested in the traditional Latin (Tridentine) rite.

I’m on Oh, hey, Sarahfeena, you’re there, too? Cool. It is very conservative.

If you’re asking for yourself, my husband and I are in the formal process of conversion. It’s always nice to meet others in the same boat. Actually, we’re meeting with our priest tomorrow to talk about when we want to be received.

I don’t have much info on message boards, but here are some links I’ve put together for our RCIA group:
United States Council of Catholic Bishops’ home page. Provides links to many current relevant pronouncements by or appeals from the U.S. Bishops as well as providing the base page for such services as the New American Bible and the daily liturgical readings for the year.

The English language Vatican web site. (The home page is from which you can select one of six language versions.) It has been getting progressively better over the last few years. Its main drawbacks are that it loads slowly (with its faux parchment background) and that it is much easier to use if you already know where you are going.
A Catholic information web site that includes the original (not current) Catholic Encyclopedia (see next listing) as well as the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas, a selection of references to the earliest Church Fathers, and several other references to Catholic prayers or Catholic web sites.
The original English Language Catholic Encyclopedia (there is a current edition that is much more up to date) was commissioned in 1908 and completed around 1919. It is in the public domain and has been copied onto a web site for anyone to see. As a source of historical information it is invaluable. It does have a few problems, in that when it was written (45 years prior to Vatican II) the Church was still locked into a defensive posture against what it considered the attacks of Protestantism and anti-clericalism. Many of the articles are written in a way to portray opponents of Catholic positions as evil or misguided. Disputed theological points are always presented as though the “other side” was obviously in error. There are also aspects of theology that are presented as absolutes when I suspect that current Church teachings would take a more conciliatory approach. With those warnings in mind, it is still an excellent resource for much Catholic history and theology. or
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is on-line with a search engine that is more complete than the index in the printed version. My only criticism of the web site is that it duplicates the printed text too closely, using cryptic abbreviations in the footnotes for papal encyclicals and other documents that one must look up separately.

Papal Encyclicals (and Bulls) can be found on-line at this site. (A “Bull”—the name comes from the bulla, Latin word for the seal placed on the document before it was sent out to the churches—is an older name for the type of document that we now call an encyclical: a special message from the pope on matters of faith and morals that is a serious statement, but that does not carry the weight of being a solemn proclamation of the Magisterium or teaching authority of the church.) or
The links go to the Table of Contents of the COMPENDIUM OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH, which had been drawn up in order to give a concise but complete overview of the Church’s social teaching. The compendium was begun several years ago and completed in 2004. The English translation was completed in early 2006, and it is now online, from the Vatican (first link) and through the independent Catholic media center (second link).

Catholic Church History. Well, not all the history, but it has a wealth of history, including links to most of the Patristics (or Church Fathers), on-line, as well as links to sources of medieval and Reformation history. (The Patristics were the immediate followers of the Apostles. While they are not considered to have had Apostolic authority, their words are obviously held in respect from the earliest times). (On the USCCB site)
The books of the Bible, on-line, from the New American Bible translation, which is the version from which readings are selected in the Catholic Church in the United States. (Other English speaking countries may choose different translations that are more harmonious with their dialects.) (On the USCCB site)
Liturgical readings from Scripture for each day (usually presented in increments of two or three months at a time, selectable by clicking on a calendar):
The Center for Liturgy at St. Louis University provides multiple pages that explore the readings, their cultural and historical context, the language used, their theology, reflections of the readings from the early Christians, contemporary spiritual reflections on the readings, prayers and poems taken from thoughts about the readings, and music associated with the readings. Each page includes a hyperlink to the USCCB Liturgical readings page for that day.
Reflections on Liturgical Readings for each day of the year. The reflections are individually written by persons associated with Creighton University, “A Jesuit Catholic University in Omaha Nebraska since 1878.” Click on the calendar by day to read the reflections. Each page includes a hyperlink to the USCCB Liturgical readings page for that day.

Notes and explanations (historical and theological) about the Sunday readings, directed to the lectors who will proclaim the words, but accessible to most people. Again, the actual readings are provided by links to the USCCB page.
Online Preaching Resources. A collection of links to a wide variety of web sites addressing Scripture, Preaching, Homiletics, and related ministries. Although compiled by the Aquinas Institute of Theology and maintained on the home site of the Dominican order, the collection of links is very ecumenical and is not restricted to Catholic sources.

The Bible Gateway site, presenting a large number of bible translations into English and into other languages. It does not include the U.S. New American Bible nor (unfortunately), the Revised Standard Version (the version commissioned by the Anglican Church that presents the most literally accurate translation). However, it is searchable by word and verse and it has a lot of translations (in many languages).
The Wesley Center at Nazarene University has a good web site from which to read the various Apocryphal books, both of the Old and New Testaments. The introductions and commentaries are well written (and I have not found any Catholic bashing—they even link to Catholic sites for some information).
This site presents information on over 160 early Christian writings or authors or contemporary pagan authors or works. The dates appear (to my casual glance) consistent with the opinions of other scholars. On the other hand, the dates listed include the widest possible range speculated. He is presenting the range of all possible conjectured dates.
This site provides an overview of the development of the Canon of the New Testament. (I have not found any gross errors on it—of course, I am not a scholar.)
On the hyperlink “Table” he presents a chart of all the writings that one ancient authority or another considered Scripture with a hypertext link to a discussion of the authority and the work, itself.

I don’t post too often, but I do try to read it regularly. It IS very conservative. I live where the Catholics (and everyone else) are very very liberal, so it’s refreshing to me to get another POV.

Keep us updated! :slight_smile:

I will. We had a conversation a week and a half ago where our sponsor asked us if we really wanted to wait for Easter. We were thrilled.

I’d better finish my reading or I’ll be in trouble in a couple of hours.

/end hijack

I think some of your difficulty finding active forums for converts to Catholicism is due to the fact that after the lobotomy most folks have difficulty finding their way around a computer.

(I know - He’s gonna get me for that!)

PuppyChow and Lissla Lissar - can I ask you what you are converting to Catholocism from? Are you coming from other Christian traditions, or joining a church for the first time? I’m just curious, because every once in a while I comtemplate leaving the Episcopal Church and “swimming the Tiber,” although I’ll probably never do it.

Pthibbit to Dinsdale, and Skammer, my husband and I were Anglican. Here’s the thread I started about it a few months ago.