Tag Archive: blogging

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 27,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Ads on this blog

no-advertisingIt was brought to my attention overnight that ads with inappropriate content were appearing on this blog.

I’ve just learnt that logged-in WordPress users (me) don’t see ads, so I didn’t realise this was happening.

Apologies to anyone who saw anything offensive.

I’ve upgraded to “ads free” so hopefully you’ll have an “ads free” experience here from now on.

A big thank-you to those who alerted me to what was happening!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 34,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 8 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

It was nice to see that A secular priest helped a number of visitors find out more about the newly founded Queenship of Mary Community in Ottawa!  God bless Mother Mary Bernadette and the other Sisters.

On August 5th this blog, A secular priest, will turn one!  I must admit that it feels like it’s been going longer.  I knew the birthday was approaching because I started the blog around the time of preparing to go to last year’s canon law conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  I head to this year’s conference tomorrow.   The first post on A secular priest appeared on 5 August 2011, and as I mentioned in one of the early posts “Why a blog?” the actual act of creating the blog was in fact a mistake.  After making the mistake (i.e. clicking the wrong button whilst trying to do something else), I figured that I might as well see where things went, and here we are today!

Since beginning a year ago I’ve made 447 posts, and there have 26,184 page views.   Readers come predominantly from Australia, the United States, and Canada.  Since 25 February 2012 the page views from each of those countries was 6254, 2848, and 2373 respectively.  For that same period there were 517 page views from the United Kingdom.  Curiously, the posts that always generate the most traffic are ones announcing the appointment of new bishops!  So thank you to Bishops Tomlinson, Kennedy, McGuckin, and Archbishops Costelloe and Coleridge for bring visitors this way!

One of my main motivations for pursuing the blog was to be able to communicate in some way with those back home whilst I was in Canada.   It would be simple if everyone was just on Facebook, but that’s never going to happen (not to mention any names, but you know who you are)!  And so, if you are going to try to be available and accessible via modern social communications media, it seems to be necessary to use several different modes at the same time.  I recently ventured into Twitter after curiosity got the better of me.  Someone asked me recently if I started the blog so that I could still “have a say” back home, and there’s probably some truth in that too!  It is interesting, and still surprises me, when someone brings up the blog in conversation.  I’ve received enough feedback over the year to lead me to conclude that it’s something worthwhile to do.  How it will evolve into the future, especially once I return to Brisbane in December, I’m not sure, but we’ll see what happens.

After nearly a year of blogging, I am even more impressed by the truly “serious” bloggers.  At the 2010 joint conference of the Confraternities of Catholic Clergy of both Australia and the United States – together with clergy from the United Kingdom before their Confraternity was established – I heard many positive comments about Fr Tim Finigan’s blog The Hermeneutic of Continuity (Fr Finigan spoke at the conference).  At the time I wasn’t really sure what a blog was, and certainly wasn’t in the habit of looking at them!  His blog is still one of my favourites because his posts are succinct, based in pastoral ministry, and he covers a variety of topics that I find interesting.  Fr John Zuhlsdorf’s What Does the Prayer Really Say? is always full of interesting news, and good for a laugh too!  I have enjoyed his cooking photos.

I’ve said it before, but I really admire how someone like Archbishop Terrence Prendergast SJ of Ottawa is able to maintain his blog, The Journey of a Bishop.  Archbishop Prendergast’s schedule of activities is impressive to start with, and yet he still makes time to offer posts on his blog.  What a wonderful way of reaching out to the people of the Archdiocese and beyond.  I really do hope that my own (new) Archbishop, Mark Coleridge, in Brisbane, will take up blogging.  I’m sure if he did his offerings would be informative and engaging and would allow the people of the Archdiocese to really tune in to their spiritual leader.  It would also be a very concrete example and expression of his desire that we as a Church need to reach out in a new way, and not just “circle the wagons.”  [No pressure Your Grace!]

Anyway, whatever it is that brings you to A secular priest, thank you for coming by, and I hope your visit here provides something helpful, useful, or interesting.   I see the blog as one aspect of my priestly ministry, and a way of connecting with and encouraging fellow travellers as we strive to live God’s will in our lives.

I saw the following Litany of Blog Humility the other day on The hermeneutic of continuity (quoting from here).   Whilst I clearly fail on most points, it’s good to be reminded of the need for humility when one sets one’s words before the gaze of the world.

The Litany of Blog Humility
From the desire of my blog being read
Deliver me dear Jesus
From the desire of my blog being praised
Deliver me dear Jesus
From the fear of my blog being despised
Deliver me dear Jesus
From the fear of my blog being forgotten
Deliver me dear Jesus
From the fear of no page views
Deliver me dear Jesus
That other blogs may be loved more than mine
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it
That Nihil Obstat may find all my grammatical and spelling errors
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it
That Google may never list my blog
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it
That comments always be negative and abusive
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it
That my commenting system always say “commenting temporarily unavailable”
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it
That Mark Shea may notice every blog but mine
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it
That others may be pithier than I, provided that I may become as pithy as I should
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it


10,000 page views

Wow! The blog just hit ten thousand page views in the last few minutes – were you no. 10,000?!


On the Media blog of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference is the following invitation:


Dear friends,

It is my great pleasure to invite you to the Australian Catholic Media Congress 2012. The congress is run by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference through the Australian Catholic Media Council and aims to bring together Catholic media, Christian media, secular media, people working within Church agencies, and anyone with an interest in how we communicate the Gospel message in our society today.

The ACMC will be held from Monday April 30 to Wednesday May 2 at the Menzies Hotel, Sydney with the theme Communicating the Word: Timeless messages, new media.

The Congress aims to look at the phenomenon of Social Media and how the Church can use everything from Facebook, to Twitter to more traditional means to spread the message of Christ in our world.

Already, we have booked a tremendously exciting international guest Monsignor Paul Tighe from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and we are planning to have great line-up of Australian guests also including former Young Australian of the Year and filmmaker Khoa Do; Social commentator Melinda Tankard Reist; and musical contributions by Fr Rob Galea and Simon Hyland.

Please enter the site here and browse the program, and register early! This Congress promises to be the Catholic Media event of the year and I warmly invite you to consider attending.

With every blessing in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Bishop Peter Ingham


Additions to the blog

You might have noticed to the right that I have added a countdown until when I will return home to Brisbane after completing (God willing) my licentiate in canon law!  The thought of returning is very exciting, so you can share my excitement by watching the countdown!!

I have also just added a link to my Flickr photos, which you can find just a bit further down on the right-hand sidebar.  I also put all my photos on facebook.  The facebook interface is slightly better than flickr, in my opinion, as the photos remain in chronological order.  Flickr seems to jumble them up randomly.

Happy viewing!



I was prompted to do this by a post on Blessed is the Kingdom, so I thought I’d compile the list of the most visited posts on my blog.  I’ve enjoyed my new-found hobby of blogging that I began in August this year during the summer break.


#1 – 173 views

I suppose, not surprisingly, when someone lands in my blog they wonder where on earth they’ve landed, and more to the point, who is writing this.  So the most visited page on my blog is the About me page!


#2 – 145 views

Second on the list is a video called “We are Catholic” that I reblogged under the title “We Just Want to be Catholic.” which came originally from Defend Us In Battle.  It’s worth a look if you haven’t seen it.


#3 – 78 views

Interestingly, people are curious to see what I’m reading at the moment.   I’ve never been a great reader, but returning to “school” has certainly seen me in the books again, and I’ve also been trying very hard to read beyond what I have to read for class and exams, and not just in canon law.  Archbishop Gomez’ book on the virtue of courage in the priestly life is very good, and I’m currently reading sections of it after Vespers each day.


#4 – 69 views

Well known Ottawa personality, Fr Bob Bedard CC, died on 6 October 2011.  Fr Bob, as he was known, was a charismatic priest – in all senses of the word – and founder of the Companions of the Cross, a community of Catholic priests founded here in Ottawa in 1985.


#5 – 66 views

Coming in at number five, was a weekend round up I wrote just after starting the blog.  I thought it might become a regular feature, particularly as it seemed to generate some interest.  I don’t think I ever got around to writing another weekend round up, partly because most of my weeks here in Ottawa end up looking much like the one before!


#6 – 63 views

At number six was news of interest to those back home in Brisbane, when the resignation of our Archbishop, John Bathersby, was accepted and Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett of Lismore was appointed as the Apostolic Administrator of our Archdiocese.  At the time of writing this, we are still eagerly awaiting news of who our next Archbishop will be.


#7 – 62 views

When I look from time to time at the stats for this blog, I can see what words people have entered into search engines that have brought them here to A secular priest.  With some regularity, people searching for something about St Rose of Lima end up here.  I have used the blog to post all my weekday and Sunday homilies.  They can easily be found through the category tab at the top of the page.  They land on the blog as the Mass at which they were preached is ending – with one of the neat features of the blog being able to schedule exactly when a post will appear!


#8 – 56 views

When I was initially thinking about the topics that I’d like to blog on, one was the renewal that can be seen happening in consecrated life in the Church.  Some of the older, established congregations are receiving renewed interest with more entrants into novitiates, and new Institutes are also forming.  I wanted to highlight some of these signs of new life on my blog.  You’ll find this “category” at the top of the page on A secular priest.  Number eight on this list of top ten was a post about two Australian women who made their religious profession with the Dominican Sisters of Nashville.  Of course, my views on religious who wear their habits are well known to any who know me, and interestingly, its those communities who have adopted (or resumed wearing) identifiable garb that are attracting vocations.  Clearly, wearing a habit is not the only thing that makes these communities stand out.  We could add: a renewed appreciation of life in community;  the communal praying of the Liturgy of the Hours;  a more marked emphasis on fidelity to the teachings of the church, and a desire to further the new evangelization, called for by Blessed John Paul II and now Benedict XVI.  We continue to pray for the renewal of religious life in the Church, and for many more holy vocations to the religious congregations and institutes.


#9 – 56 views

Generating a few hits was a note about my eleventh anniversary of presbyteral ordination on 14th September, the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross.  The years go by very quickly indeed!



#10 – 54 views

And coming in at number ten – probably for the same reasons as #7 – people often land at A secular priest when they are searching for information about Saint Bartholomew.  It’s nice to see that people are interested in the saints!


Now, I did say that this was a top ten, but I do want to add one more!


#11 – 53 views

Coming in at number eleven is a post about another religious community that is “coming to be” here in Ottawa, the Queenship of Mary.  Being founded by Mother Alice Fougere, and a group of another four sisters, with the support of Fr Ben St. Croix CC, the Queenship of Mary have a special desire to pray for and support priests, something that is much needed.  They are nearing the end of their novitiate year, and hopefully before too long some news will be forthcoming about the next steps in their formal canonical recognition as a religious community in the church.


So that’s a review of the top eleven posts on A secular priest since it hit the world wide web with my first post on 5 August 2011.  One of the initial motivators that got me started was to have some way of leaving messages and photos for those back home in Australia who aren’t on Facebook.  I suppose every blogger also likes “having his say” and leaving a comment for the whole world to see, and I’m no exception!  So for anyone who cares to read what I have to say, you are welcome here at A secular priest.  The pope has encouraged priests to be active in the new media, and so I hope I can not only stay in touch with family and friends, but also to do my own small part in saying something useful, with the blog being one aspect of my priestly ministry.

Happy reading, and a blessed new year to all!




Blog: 2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,800 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Blog milestone!

My blog is about to hit 5000 hits since it hit the www in August!  — in 29 hits to be precise.

Go on, click on a few extra pages now – you might be responsible for the 5000th hit!