After a Dozen Years, Something (Sort of) New

I started “A Catholic Citizen in America” on September 16, 2008; as a Blogger blog.

Time passed.

By 2016, I was having technical issues with Blogger.

Then, in May of 2016, the service’s zeal to protect users and viewers from a particular image file format gave me the last straw.

That’s when I decided to re-launch “A Catholic Citizen in America” as a WordPress blog. Which I did, finally, a few months later:

Experiencing Technical Difficulties

(Norbert Nerdly: my frustrations, personified. (2015))

Then, somewhat later, I got around to the post I’d been working on when Blogger became more trouble than it was worth.

Not quite two years later, persistent technical issues were back.

Not the same technical issues, but frustrating nonetheless. My son, over the course of a few days, traced my problem to the household router. Technically, the solution was simple: get a new router. Financially, not so much.

But eventually I got back to more-or-less regular posting.

Which brings me to what I’m doing here. Back again, that is. (January 27, 2021)

Back to the “Vocation” Thing

Recapping what I said yesterday, I’m a Catholic layman: a member of the laity. That’s my vocation. Narrowing it down, which I didn’t do yesterday, I’m a married Catholic: so being married is my vocation. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 16011617)

Part of it, at any rate. I didn’t talk about marriage as a vocation yesterday and I won’t today: partly because I also didn’t talk topics I pick for writing, either.

And that, more or less, is what I’m doing today.

But first, here’s what I said I’d be doing with the first iteration of “A Catholic Citizen in America,” back in 2008.

What’s it Like, Being a Catholic in America?

“About 300 million people live in America. Roughly one out of every four is Catholic. And one of them is me.
“You’re not as likely to meet a Catholic in America as you are in Mexico, Poland, Kenya, or the Philippines: but odds are pretty good that you know one, or that someone you know does.
“We’re Hispanic, white, black, American Indian, Asian, and quite a few other ethnicities.
“And we’ve been here for quite a while. Baltimore became the seat of the first American diocese in 1789: and the first archdiocese in 1808.

“Following Catholic beliefs and practices in America: One man’s experience

“This blog is about my experiences as a practicing Catholic living in America. My values are somewhat counter-cultural, so following my beliefs in a system that isn’t built around them can be challenging.”
(“A Catholic Citizen in America,” first post (September 16, 2008))

Not quite eight years later, I’d been writing about science, history and whatever else caught my attention.

Along with how I saw the topic(s).

I’m still not sure whether I should be focusing on “my experiences” more than I have been.

An ‘up’ side is that what I write would be more obviously consistent with the “A Catholic Citizen in America” description: “Following Catholic beliefs and practices in America: one man’s experience.”

A ‘down’ side is that my everyday experiences are not all that fascinating. Not from where I’m standing.

My routines are, well: routine.

Now What Do I Do?

I’m not a teen idol pop superstar YouTube influencer — someone who can post “I #flossedmyteeth #lol:” and get a million hits, making a quarter-million dollars by doing so.

Not that anyone’s quite that redolent with newspaper fame. Or Internet fame.

And I might not enjoy getting that much attention. I’m pretty sure that others in the family wouldn’t like it. At all.

I was going somewhere with this. Let me think.

  • This blog’s first and second iterations.
  • What I’d planned to do, what I actually did and a cheese sculpture.
  • Cheese sculpture? Never mind.
  • Focusing more on me, but staying interested.


For a little over a dozen years, I’ve known what I’ll be writing about next: whatever catches my interest, and looks like it’d be worth the time I’d spend researching it.

I plan to keep doing that. Which is why I’ll be getting back to the current “Dr. Faustus” post, after a cup of coffee: and that’s another topic. Topics.

But I also plan to keep doing these ‘journal’ entries, focusing more on me and what it’s like being a Catholic in my here and now. How I’ll keep doing them, and make them worth writing and reading, is a good question. But, again, that’s my plan.

And now, the seemingly-inevitable links:

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About Brian H. Gill

I was born in 1951. I'm a husband, father and grandfather. One of the kids graduated from college in December, 2008, and is helping her husband run businesses and raise my granddaughter; another is a cartoonist and artist; #3 daughter is a writer; my son is developing a digital game with #3 and #1 daughters. I'm also a writer and artist.
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