The blogging nation is quite young. I discovered that firsthand.Faced with a looming deadline, I decided to write about youth blogs. Young adults and teens, even children, if I could find some.

So I ran a notice on my blog: “Send me your children! The younger the better! I’m not a pedophile. I’m dedicating my next Register blog column to youth blogs.”

I figured I’d get a couple recommendations. Instead, I got a deluge.

I should’ve known better. Blogging is a young person’s sport. The best blogs are written by adults, but young people like to write and blog. And there are lots of Catholic youngsters out there.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that there are lots of good Catholic youth blogs. When deciding to write about them, I remembered a T-shirt that read, “You can’t be old and wise unless you were young and stupid.” I also remembered my younger days, and that alone was enough to make me nervous.

I’m happy to report that the risk paid off.

I was impressed and edified. I can’t say all of the blogs I reviewed showcase polished prose and profound insights, but my surfing revealed a core of solid young Catholics in our country — the types of youngsters I’d be happy to call my children some day.

First off, there are a few well-known blogs. At American Papist (americanpapist.com/blog.html), “Thomas” (he doesn’t use his last name) is 21. He has a master’s degree in theology and a sense of humor; visitors will find ample evidence of both.

There’s also The Shrine of the Holy Whapping (holywhapping.blogspot.com), a group blog of Notre Dame students (now alumni), who aptly describe their blog as a place where “newly-graduated ‘Catholic Nerds’ share their thoughts on Catholic culture, spiritual life and other musings (or ‘moosings’ as the case may be) with the rest of the world.”

But I also found a few good blogs by unknowns, like Thoughts of Apolonio Latar III (apolonio.blogspot.com). This blog has brought applause from such leading Catholic lights as Peter Kreeft and Marcellino D’Ambrosio. His grasp of philosophy and theology began turning heads when he was in high school. He’s now at Rutgers University and his blog keeps getting better.

There’s also Totus Pius (totuspius.blogspot.com). This blog cracks me up. It’s written by five college students, aged 19 to 22: Pius V, Pius VIII, Pius IX, Pius X and Pius XII. I think you see the pattern and, if you don’t, the blog’s motto makes it clear: “Because when a Pope takes ‘Pius,’ you know playtime’s over.” The humorous — yet sincere — militancy is great. The bloggers (who refused to tell me their identity) told me in an e-mail: “Pius is our name, and fighting heresy is our game. We shall fight it in the churches, we shall fight in the classrooms, we shall fight it in books and in speech. … We shall never surrender.” The blog is traditionalist and good-naturedly cheeky … not an easy combination. Highly recommended.

On the other end of the emotional spectrum, readers may want to consider Mere Complexities (merecomplexities.blogspot.com). It’s written by a 22-year-old woman at the University of Western Ontario. It’s heavily meditative and sometimes dolorous. The woman is discerning a vocation to the religious life.

Finally, I’d strongly encourage readers to visit Nick Milne’s A Gentle Fuss (gentlefuss.blogspot.com). Nick is 20 and perhaps the finest “unknown” writer I’ve run across. I’ve seen his work in Gilbert Magazine, and he works with me on the Chesterton and Friends blogs (chestertonandfriends.blogspot.com). He’s creative, clever and well-read. He’s not Catholic, but he’s on his way. He tells me that his blog will describe the conversion process.

Most of us don’t get to see a young man convert. Now, it will be on a blog.

I wish I could describe all the worthy Catholic youth blogs I found, but such an endeavor might fill four newspaper pages. The following five, though, deserve mention, and I’d encourage you to check out their pages and give the youngsters encouragement:

Letters from a Young Catholic (dilexitprior.blogspot.com), Cor Immaculatae (corimmaculatae.blogspot.com), Calliope Calls (calliopecalls.blogspot.com), And If Not (and-if-not.blogspot.com) and Regnum Crucis (regnumcrucis.blogspot.com).

Catholic youth blogs are big, and I suspect they’ll get bigger. MySpace.com, a social networking website that is popular with high schoolers, has 75 million members and is looking to expand.

If you’ve heard about MySpace.com, you’ve probably heard that it’s a moral cesspool. And much of it probably is. But I found lots of encouraging bacterial growth. A search of “Catholic-like” terms reveals lots of solid young people. The term “G.K. Chesterton,” for instance, brings up nearly 200 profiles and blogs, most of them by youngsters, who have either quoted him, written about him or listed him as one of their favorite authors. Most people don’t even know who G.K. Chesterton is, but he’s alive and well in “MySpace.com,” as are many other Catholic things.

You might want to consider browsing through and see what you find. It’s not all poison.

Reader Recommendation

This month’s recommendation is one of the most pleasant blogs in cyberspace: Happy Catholic (happycatholic.blogspot.com) by Julie Davis. A mother of two teenage daughters, Davis offers commentary on pop culture (especially from a teenager’s point of view) and Catholic news. Her blog is also laced with autobiographical information that many readers love. The site won “Best Blog by a Woman” in the 2006 Catholic Blog Awards (catholicblogawards.com).

“The blog actually is a natural outgrowth of all the e-mails I used to send,” explains Davis. “I would find wonderful quotes or articles and want to share them. I started the blog because I thought it would be easier for friends to find the info there and more efficient for me to have one spot to put it all.”

And then blogging became an obsession (a common occurrence in the blogosphere). “It has become one of those obsessive hobbies that I always liken to the person who has the perfect model train set up that he is always tinkering with,” says Davis. “The blog is my train set.”

I guess any sort of obsession can be a bad thing, especially when it’s rooted in something as potentially vainglorious as blogging. But in this case, readers are lucky the blogging obsession took root in Davis.

Until next month, may your mouse stay cool in the summer heat.

Eric Scheske blogs at

ericscheske.com/blog