This morning I received an email from the Florida Department of Health notifying me that I have completed all of my course work to renew my medical license to practice psychotherapy for another two years. All that remains is the submission of a valid current major credit card number. There is logic in that, I guess: the state assumes that if a provider’s own finances are in order, he or she has some kind of high ground to advise others on getting their own houses in order.
Speaking of psychology I have been pounding away at the Catechist Café blogging site for two months now and tracking the hits per day, courtesy of the good folks at Weebly. I have no idea who actually visits the site, but I do know the numbers on any given day, and the domains from which they come. Owning a domain and a blog site is an interesting lesson in the strange world of the internet. Weebly lists for me all my “referral domains.” Curiously, a fair number come from Russia. With some investigating and the help of the Google ”translator,” it would seem that the world is full of “little wanna be googles” who swoop in on a newly purchased domain as soon as possible for inclusion in its address data base. (This has nothing to do with content of the site or its visitors, though.) All site domain names are in the public domain to avoid reduplication. You may know that an enterprising porn site bought the “white house” domain many years ago when the internet was new, causing untold problems for school libraries using the internet for the first time. A few of my domain suitors are hard core, too; I suspect that the name “café” attracts certain search engines whose clientele do not teach catechism.
The numbers tell me that there are many regular readers; on any given day the repeat visits outnumber the newbie’s by about 4 to 1. Weebly is telling me that Thursday is the low day of the week. There is very high traffic Sunday through Wednesday, and Friday and Saturday are well attended. I suspect that the “mental health and job stress” topic may not be meeting as many needs as the other topics. So I am going to experiment with a different format for Thursdays: “Catechism Criticism.” The term “criticism” has a technical academic meaning of analysis; it is not a pejorative term. Biblical Criticism is an indispensible resource of the Church.
My idea is to look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church with an analytic eye, to help readers get a feel for its style, composition, organization, sources and the like. Our present catechism is not the first, but the most recent in the Church’s ongoing attempt to summarize its presentation of faith and morals. It will be with us for most of our lifetimes. I discussed yesterday how the outline of the Catechism is shaping catechetical training programs and teaching resources. Working with the Catechism here at the Café will be a personal help to me given the consulting work I presently do and my hopes to write a commentary down the road.
The mental health and job stress issues are important; I will develop a separate page at this site for periodic essays, opportunities for postings, and links to resources in the not too distant future. Please feel free to email me from the home page mail site at the bottom if you have any particular issues of concern to catechists and those in parish ministry and faith formation.