Catholics take to the Net

Joe McClane

Catholics take to the Net

By KATE SHELLNUTT Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle

Aug. 5, 2010, 5:33PM

After returning to the Catholic Church in 2002, Joe McClane wanted to take his faith online, so he set up The Catholic Hack, a site for him to blog and podcast about church theology. Each week, he posted on a basic Blogspot site and recorded podcasts from a parking lot in The Woodlands.

“My minivan became a mobile podcasting studio during my lunch hours, sharing the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic faith with anyone who would listen,” he said.

Back then, The Catholic Hack was one of only a few Catholic podcasts in an online world that seemed nearly void of church discussion. The popularity of new media today and the church’s emphasis on using the Internet to the glory of God have since launched a growing realm of digital Catholicism.

“Now, much like the missionaries who were sent to help to found the new world, we are being sent into the digital continent to bring about the new evangelization that Pope John Paul II called for,” said McClane, who serves as coordinator for the Houston-based Fullness of Truth Catholic Evangelization Ministries.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

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About the Author: CatholicHack

Joe McClane is the General Manger of KSHJ 1430 AM on the Guadalupe Radio Network, Catholic radio in Houston, TX. Joe spent the last five years serving as the Director and Events Coordinator for the Fullness Of Truth Catholic Evangelization Ministries based in North Houston. Joe has been married, going on thirteen years, to Michelle, and they homeschool their five children. Joe and his family are parishioners of Annunciation Catholic Church in downtown Houston.
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  1. carrie

    If you are going to proclaim, proclaim this. Why are so many leaving the church? People in my parent’s community feel like they have been kicked to the curb! It seems like Americans of Mexican decent are being cast aside. The church caters to Mexicans. Why is this? I see it in many churches. Friends of my parents have left. The priest at my church is so disrespectful. My father has done so much for the church. This priest did not even come to see him when he was sick with cancer! The deacon had a heart attack and did he say let’s welcome back Deacon Bro…hell no! Mount Carmel High was shut down and the kids kicked to the curb! Many of them have stopped going to church. My son wants nothing to do with it! The church has turned its back on us. My daughter Sarah is the only one who goes to church. I wont take that away from her. Pity who will be at her side when she takes her last breath! I say trust only in God. Sounding off can’t take it anymore.

  2. CatholicHack

    Hi Carrie,

    I totally understand your frustration… even anger; it is not without merit. With so much wrong… how can anyone stay in this Church? Isn’t this why so many people are leaving? Let me just say that I do not know the particular’s of your situation, your parish, even your Pastor so I would not presume to speak to those. Instead I will speak more generally to this question over all. The answer to this problem is the Church itself; its a hospital for sinners not a museum for saints. The Church is a family… all the saints, and sinners who have gone before us are our family members. There is no family, either now, or ever, who has not had its share of dysfunction. We need not go far for proof of this… just turn on the TV, or read the paper…. we are surrounded by dysfunctional families. The Family of God has always been dysfunctional and that is because humans are involved and we are a sinful bunch. However, we should never leave Jesus, and His Church, because of the sins of Judas. Our Lord himself told us there would be demons amongst, sowing the weeds of discontent, and dysfunction, until the end of time (Matthew 13:24-30). When the seas begin to rock… we keep our eyes on Christ (Matthew 14:28).

    Yes, there are plenty of sinners, and very BAD/evil things, that happen within the Church that Christ founded. From angry, disrespectful Bishops and Priests, to dissenting, and wayward laypersons and all things in between. The truth is the Church is a gift from God because God knows just how messed up we are. We are a sinful, stiff-necked, people who are inclined to evil. Jesus came as the New Adam, one greater than Moses, the true son of David, who is wiser, and far grander, and more powerful than Solomon, to purify the people of God, taking the Church from the remnant of the people of Israel, to the NEW Israel, the New Jerusalem, who comes down from heaven as the Bride, adorned with all the precious jewels, gold, and silver. As we are told in Revelation 21Jesus makes all things NEW. So we are gathered, as Hebrews 12:23 says, to the “assembly of the first-born” who brings about the NEW Passover Sacrifice (John 6) which is HIS body and HIS blood given for us as FOOD for LIFE but… only IF we eat & drink it.

    What do I mean? Jesus perfected the Church, started with the chosen people of God, and instituted the New Israel with 12 new patriarchs, whom he made Priests and Bishops, and gave them the task of bringing the sacraments, and the “Good News”, to HIS flock. Those 12 ordained other Bishops who carried this Gospel to new lands, and extended the Church of Jesus to the rest of the known world. They brought the Sacraments… that is the Good News… the life for a dying world.

    What does this have to do with the question? Jesus was rejected by His own flock… Peter denied him 3 times, and Judas SOLD him to the high Priest. On the night before Jesus was betrayed he said to Peter in Luke 22:

    30: that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
    31: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,
    32: but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.”
    33: And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
    34: He said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you three times deny that you know me.”

    Jesus knew he would be denied… betrayed… beaten… spat on…. insulted… whipped… dragged… and nailed to a tree; and yet he does NOT abandon the sinful men HE chose to institute the NEW Israel. Instead, he says “but I have prayed for YOU that YOUR faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.” He prayed for PETER because after Peter comes back it is his job to strengthen the others. Jesus brings Peter back at the sea of Galilee asking him 3 times if he loves Him… all this by a charcoal fire… just as Peter denied our Lord by a Charcoal fire 3 times (John 21).

    The Bottom line: The reality is those who are ordained ministers in the Church are still just human beings who need the sacraments just as much as the rest of us. Pope John Paul II went to confession every week… how often to the rest of us go? Not weekly I assure you. Perfection for 99.999% of all humans will not happen this side of the vail of Heaven so we must… like all families… find a way to get along with one another. To leave the ONE Church Jesus founded is NOT a solution. Dissent is NOT a gift of the Holy Spirit however, obedience is…
    Philippians 2:8 “And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.”

    If you have to… go to a different Catholic parish… find a parish who is more loving… more Christ like but, do not leave the Church because there are sinful people… you will not find one a family who is not without sin. Instead, let us be like St. Peter who was inspired by the Holy Spirit to proclaim Jesus the Messiah (Matthew 16), and recognized, when Jesus proclaimed the difficult teaching of the Eucharist, in John 6:

    68: Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life;
    69: and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

    Stick with the Church… we don’t place our trust in “stuffy old men” from Rome but, rather, in Jesus himself who also said in John 14:

    15: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

    God Bless You

  3. Vikk

    As a new Catholic and a Houstonian, I was very interested in the article about Catholics and the new media. I’ve been playing with a site as I made my journey the past couple of years and would like to get more information about this conference the article talks about that will be held in Houston next year. I tried doing a search but nothing came up. Is there a site or some kind of mailing list? (I’m also delighted to learn of your site and the others that are mentioned.

  4. CatholicHack

    Hi Vikk,

    Thank you for checking out the sight! I’m thinking of hosting a 1 day workshop in new media and evangelization, so keep an eye out for more details. Here is the link for CatholiCon which will be next year.

    God Bless You

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