A blogger Epiphany party

January 7, 2008 | 10 comments

I love the internet.

This weekend I went to one of the most fun events I’ve been to in a long time: Melanie Bettinelli (The Wine-Dark Sea) and her husband Dom (Bettnet.com) were in town so they suggested a central Texas bloggers meetup. Literacy-chic (Words, Words), Hallie (Fruit), I and our spouses all descended on the house of our good friends the Darwins (DarwinCatholic) for a little Three Kings party (beg Literacy-chic to post her “king cake” recipe and the Darwins to post their Mexican hot chocolate recipe — delicious). There were 13 kids (all but one under the age of six) and 12 adults. The Darwins are probably still cleaning up.

Sometimes I hear people musing about whether or not the internet is a good thing for Christianity. From my experience, the answer is definitely yes. First of all, I don’t think I would even be Christian today without the freeflow of information on the internet — “seek and ye shall find” is a whole lot easier with Google. And, for those of us who are converts, it’s really difficult when you don’t know anyone else who practices your new faith. I’ve mentioned before how much reading Catholic blogs helped me feel a part of Catholic culture, even when I didn’t know a single practicing Catholic in my area. And now that I’ve actually met so many great people through blogging — not just the group this weekend but some other good friends as well — it’s striking to see what a huge role the internet has played in my conversion process.

So, thank you to the Bettinellis for organizing and to the Darwins for hosting. It was the best Epiphany party I’ve ever been to in my life!*

* OK, it was the only Epiphany party I’ve ever been to in my life, so that’s not a very high bar…but it was a wonderful time, and all of the bloggers there were actually as interesting in person as they seem on their blogs.


  1. Matilda

    Wow. I had no idea you were in Texas too. Sounds like a great time!

  2. Abigail

    I’m so excited for you! I want to have a 3 Kings Party next year. I’m all about the internet for finding Catholic friends, especially for converts! It helps real-time friends as well. Maria was in my mother’s rosary group for 1 1/2 years before I read her blog & realized that we had so much in common!

  3. Domenico Bettinelli


    Thank you! We had a great time too and it was so much fun to have some many young’uns there, not to mention getting to have real conversations. Blog-based dialogue is fine, but face-to-face is so much better. (And online you don’t get to see the kids!)

    I want to add my thanks to the Drawins. I’m afraid their home must have suffered somewhat under the onslaught!

    I haven’t yet written up my reflection on the gathering (although I know Melanie’s is in progress), and today we’re traveling so it might be some time later.

  4. Sarahndipity

    I’m so jealous you got to meet these fellow bloggers in “real life.” 🙂 I always wonder what the bloggers I read are really like.

  5. mrsdarwin

    Cleaning, Schmeaning… A good party is worth its weight in mess.

    As to the Mexican hot chocolate — it was Abuelita brand, found in the hot chocolate aisle. Heat the milk, drop in a tablet, and blend.

  6. Julie D.

    I am SO jealous! 🙂

  7. Sarah

    I guess I’m jealous too, but really, I’m happy for you that you have this support group of other bloggers. I too have found blogging to be a great help. Now I just need to move to Texas… 🙂

  8. Tertium Quid


    I must agree. I wish I could meet many Catholic bloggers and their readers. I wish I could assemble so many good people at a park or playground.

    Kind regards from my family to yours,


  9. Melanie B

    Thanks Jen. We had a fantastic time too.

    In fact I pretty much agree with everything you said (except I think there were only ten adults).

    I especially like what you have to say about the internet being a good thing for Christianity. As much as I find my blog reading sometimes gets out of hand and distracts me from real life things I should be doing, reading Catholic blogs also recharges my spiritual batteries and encourages me to pick myself up and try again. I love the fellowship and community and feel like it is a true expression of being members of the universal church, in communion with one another despite our physical distance.

  10. La gallina

    If ya’ll find yourselves down in south Texas (South Padre Island) let me know.

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