How Catholics Online began, and how you can join the community. This post is written by Sara Estabrooks, author at To Jesus, Sincerely, and Tech Assistant for Catholics Online.
Hi there, I’m Sara, part of the CatholicsOnline.net team.
My journey with Catholics Online began when I was a brand new blogger. I had just launched my site, To Jesus Sincerely, and was looking for a support network.
I started sending messages to big name Catholic bloggers, but was met with a large dose of ignore.
I was under the impression that Catholic internet was a lonely place.
Then I sent the same message to Amy Brooks of Prayer Wine Chocolate, seeking an online community.
“Yes! Start this new group with me!”
Our friendship was born that day.
With Amy’s vision and my obsession for organization, the seed for what’s now CatholicsOnline.net began to grow.
Catholic Social Media Influencers is Launched
It started with a Facebook support group called Catholic Social Media Influencers. CSMI is a group for any Catholic with an online presence. Not just bloggers, but speakers, businesses, artisans, charities, and more.
This group is a place of true support – unlike any other group I’ve seen.
Members are encouraged to ask questions and pray for each other. We have daily reciprocation threads where we voluntarily support each other’s work.
Although I “helped” Amy launch and admin this group, I’m a prime example of the group’s success. At the time, I didn’t know the first thing about blogging, just that I wanted and needed this support badly.
So I threw myself into participating in this group on a daily basis.
I faithfully posted reciprocation threads and joined them too. My brand new ministry exploded. Within a year, I had a viral post, an email list 1200 strong, and an engaged Facebook following of 1K.
These numbers may still seem small to the big bloggers out there, but to me they represented a whole new world of opportunity and evangelization knocking at my door.
But most exciting is the community. I’ve made so many great Catholic friends I can turn to when I’m in need.
I want every Catholic entrepreneur, every blogger, business, and artisan to join this community. To tap into this potential for support and growth.
After more than a year in operation, it was time for Catholic Social Media Influencers to expand.
The Catholics Online Directory is Built
Amy’s vision for our community took a leap. The behind-the-scenes members of CSMI now have a public face. CatholicsOnline.net was launched.
Catholics Online is a directory, and a sort of one-stop-shop for all things Catholic.
On the site, you can browse artisans, authors/bloggers, speakers/vloggers, businesses, and charities by category.
It’s the place to go whether you’re a diocese looking for resources, a layperson seeking inspiration, or an entrepreneur seeking community.
Our site and social media channels seek to fill your screen with faith-filled content.
The CSMI Facebook group is the backbone of the Catholics Online directory. The supportive community is who we are at our core. All new members of our directory are invited to join the group and find their online home.
The directory is the face we present to the world. Our social media channels are our arms and legs, reaching out to the world with an invitation to know and love Jesus more.
I Just Want To Tell Everyone About this Community
And my job in all this?
I make sure things run smoothly. I process applications and sign graphics. I publish support threads in our Facebook group and hit send on email campaigns.
I work to support Catholics Online because I believe in Amy’s vision.
But most of all, I’m the evidence that this group works. I’m an advocate for the growth fostered by dedicated participation in this group. I’m shouting from the rooftop that Catholics aren’t alone in the world of online evangelization.
Even though I’m “on staff” at Catholics online, I’m not here to toot my own horn. Far from it. I’m thankful for every member who has supported me and my blog, and helped my ministry grow.
I’m giving virtual high fives to every member who’s read one of my posts, caught a grammatical mistake, given me social media advice, or shared a link.
This is no “like-for-like” scam.
Catholics Online is a living, loving community.
If you’re a “Catholic online” looking for support to help grow your ministry, join our community by applying for a listing in our directory.
If you’re looking to connect with someone on our directory, shoot us an email.We’re always looking to foster partnerships and sponsorships.
If you’re looking for great Catholic content to inspire you, join our email list and follow our media channels.