Several years ago, the Rev. Rick Heilman, a priest in the Madison Catholic Diocese, started jotting down occasional reflections and e-mailing them to a handful of friends.
When the list of people who wanted to read his e-mails grew to more than 200, he created the blog “Mary’s Anawim.” The Hebrew word refers to “the poor ones” who remain faithful to God in difficult times.
Now, three years later, he posts almost daily and has acquired a following with his ardent defense of Catholicism and Madison Bishop Robert Morlino.
If the Vatican is handing out gold stars, Heilman likely will get one. In January, Pope Benedict XVI urged priests to embrace new communication tools, including blogging, saying digital technology can “open up broad new vistas” for dialogue and evangelism.