Holy Smokin' Internet: Light of the World at the Speed of Light


Editor’s note: I’m grateful to my friend and Catholic social media colleague John Clem for his submission of this awesome article recapping many of the great resources out there for us to follow the Conclave. Visit John at Catholic Web Services for more great resources. LMH

Prayer_for_the_Church_and_initiative_of_the_Knights_of_Columbus_St_Peters_Basilica_File_Photo_CNA_CNA_US_Catholic_News_2_18_13With the upcoming Conclave of Cardinals, this will be first papal election since the widespread use of the internet using: Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, Pinterest, and Smart Phones & Tablets.  Eight years ago, at the last papal election in 2005, these technologies were beginning or not in existence  and are changing the ways Catholics are interacting with local and world communities through social and news networks.  There are many opportunities to see this Conclave though media that offers fair reporting and full coverage with Catholic reporters who understand the faith.  There are over 3,000 journalist from 60 countries who have been issued press passes by The Vatican, but here are some of the best Catholic sources IMHO:


1) Conclave App from Verbum, is a FREE app that offers news feeds from many good Catholic on-line and print media, Twitter feed following the hashtags #conclave & #pope, list of Cardinals and how they are trending in Google, Catholic reference materials, and history of papacy and conclaves.  John wrote in his blog Call To Holiness about details of new App and links for both Apple and Android products.

2) Pope Alarm, from FOCUS, FREE service offers you the option to be notified by e-mail or text message when smoke goes up in the Sistine Chapel during The Conclave. Link for the Pope Alarm.

3) Word On Fire, Father Robert Barron will be reporting from Rome with updates about the Conclave.  One of the best spokespersons of the Catholic faith in America, and he will be on hand as official commentator for NBC News and MSNBC.  Link for Word On Fire.

First report from Father Barron in Rome:

4) Catholic Insider, Father Roderick Vonhogen, with SQPN (Star Quest Production Network), will be offering podcasts with soundseeing and personal interviews with people around Rome during The Conclave.  This is like listening to an NPR-style production with an entertaining priest.  Link to Catholic Insider podcast.

5) CatholicTV, from Archdiocese of Boston, offering great coverage on internet and has mobile app available. Link for CatholicTV

6) EWTN, Eternal Word Television Network, offering wall to wall coverage of The Conclave with TV, Radio, and Internet, and a focus this year with mobile devices.  Link to EWTN.

7) News.va Official news from The Vatican.  This site came into being during Pope Benedict XVI that offers a central place for TV, radio, and internet news service from The Holy See.  Link to News.va

8) Aleteia (seekers of truth) A new website offering perspectives from many trusted Catholic news sources and social media.  Link to Aleteia

9) Catholic News Service – a visual reference for The Conclave of Cardinals.  Link to website for graphic.


Adopt a Cardinal from Jugend 2000 International (German Youth Group), assigns one of the Cardinals randomly for you to pray for during he Conclave.  Nearly 400,000 people have signed-up for the service.  Please consider joining to help pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance with choosing a new Pope.  Link for Adopt-A-Cardinal.

Twitter Campaign for Prayer for a New Pope–from The Knights of Columbus.  Here is a Catholic News Agency Story about the campaign.



1) Fantasy Conclave from FlockNote, CatholicStudentMininstry, and eCatholic, you can enter to win Catholic prizes worth $300–you need to predict name of cardinal, duration of The Conclave, and the new name of The Pope.  Link for Fantasy Conclave

2) Buzz Meter from New Advent, this list of Cardinals is generated from how many searches on Google are made through Google Trends.  Link to New Advent’s Buzz Meter  (Please note this is very unscientific way of predicting the papacy).

3) Sistine Chapel – step into a high-definition 3-D version of the Sistine Chapel with Angelic Music.

Please let us know if you find any other useful resources for this conclave.  We are praying to the Holy Spirit to help guide The Conclave to find a worthy successor to lead the Roman Catholic Church–Amen!

John Clem is the Director of Catholic Web Services, a new ministry serving Catholic webmasters and media producers, and blogs at Call To Holiness.  John is currently a candidate for the Secular Franciscan Order, of the Mount LaVerna Chapter in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Copyright 2013 John Clem


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