My first blog awards!

I am very surprised and grateful to be nominated for a couple of blog awards, from my new friend The Catholic Nomad:

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award


Commentator Blog Award

The Commentator Blog Award

The instructions for accepting these awards are to link back to the nominating blogger, share seven things about myself, and then recommend a few other blogs to accept the awards as well.

The Catholic Nomad is a wanderer in search of the sacred — and what better companions could there be on this Catholic journey than a nomad and a pilgrim? She blogs about her travels, observations, and experiences, in beautiful, insightful, and heartfelt prose. I am honored to know her and to be on this road with her.

So, seven things about me? Are you sure you want that? Okay, here goes. (And no, you next people don’t have to write this much. I am just long-winded.)

  1. I’ve actually been using the online handle “LonelyPilgrim” for some ten years. “Lonely pilgrim” is the English translation of another handle I had — in Sindarin. I had no idea at the time I chose it how apt the name would be. I have always been on a quest seeking God, and during my years wandering between churches, I considered myself a pilgrim in search of my true home. Now that I’ve found it, it is only fitting that the Catholic Church is commonly called a “Pilgrim Church” — a Church of pilgrims, on a journey to our salvation.

  2. I grew up in an Assemblies of God church, of the Pentecostal family of the Christian faith. Yes, that includes speaking in tongues, dancing, clapping, hand-raising, and in general being very excited and emotional about faith. The church I grew up in is a very loving place full of people who love God and love their neighbor, and I will be most thankful for it always, and to my parents, for raising me up in a loving Christian environment.

  3. My confirmation saint is Paul. But I have very many favorite saints, and wrestled with the choice for a little while. Other considerations were Gregory the Great (patron of teachers, a compassionate pastor, and all in all a wonderful human being), Thomas Aquinas (patron of academics, and brilliant), Bernard of Clairvaux (with whom I fell in love as an undergraduate; he represents to me the best balance of emotion and reason in faith), Francis of Assisi (a wonderful example of humility, charity, and service), and Bede (patron of historians, with whom I also fell in love as an undergraduate). In the end, though, there could be no choice but Paul. That story is yet to be told.

  4. I am the first Catholic in my family within living memory, vertically speaking. That is, to my knowledge, none of my ancestors have been Catholic before me since the Reformation. (Surely they were before that, but I am not able to trace any of my lines that far.) My heritage is mostly English, Scottish, and Scots-Irish, all good Protestant stock. There are also a few drops of German Lutheran and possibly a little dab of French Huguenot. My recent ancestors have all been Baptist and Methodist, including several Baptist preachers and Methodist ministers. It did bother me, very briefly, to think that I was betraying my heritage and that my ancestors might be disappointed with me for my conversion; but convinced of the truth of Catholicism, and desiring a reunion of all Christians, as I know there is in Heaven, it seemed right and proper. I did have a beloved great-uncle and great-aunt who were Catholic. He, my Granddaddy’s brother, converted after marrying her. They were both very loving and Christian people and I believe they paved this road for me.

  5. The road to my conversion as an historian was just as long and varied as my road to the Catholic Church. In high school, I gave no thought to studying history as a profession, though I realized I was fascinated by it, largely by way of my genealogy. At university, I began my career with the intention of studying biology/pre-med and going to medical school; this notion was short-lived. I then spent several years studying computer science, since computer programming had been and continues to be a hobby in which I have an aptitude. It was only through stumbling into Latin that I found my way to studying history. I began my historical journey fascinated by the ancient world; then was drawn to the Middle Ages, especially the history of the Church; then finally was pulled into what I’m professing to study now, the history of the Southern United States. But my interests remain all over the place, and the Church is drawing me a great deal again these days.

  6. I like languages a lot. My undergraduate minor was in classical studies. Though my doings in school now have little to do with languages, I make it a point to study whenever I can. I’ve been studying Latin (both Classical and Medieval) now for about nine years, Ancient Greek (both Attic and Koine) for about seven, and I’m little more than a dabbler in Biblical Hebrew, but I can read the alphabet. I have also poked at, and can read, in decreasing degrees of proficiency, Italian, French, Spanish, and German, and maybe a little bit of others here and there. I dream of being panlingual.

  7. Some of my other hobbies include genealogy, cemeteries, photography, books (both reading and collecting), coffee and tea, travel, music, and watching movies and TV shows (but only on DVD or Netflix; I’m a huge fan of The X-Files and Joss Whedon and Doctor Who and Star Trek). If I’ve gotten to know you, or if you introduce yourself below, you’re welcome to add me on Facebook or any of the above linked sites.

Now, passing on these awards: I hereby nominate for these awards (again, the presentation speech is not a requirement — just something extra I added because I like to bless people who have blessed me):

  • Living an Ecumenical Life, by Ken Ranos, a Lutheran (ELCA) seminarian whose openness to ecumenism inspired me to pursue it, too. He found me and followed me before I even stepped out of the blog-closet, and has been a most welcome and active commentator.

  • Steak and a Bible, by Julia. Because what could be more inspiring than a steak and a Bible? I think possibly to her chagrin, she has given me a lot to think about and write about. And her blog itself is fearless at tackling what’s wrong in evangelical Christianity today — an effort I greatly applaud (not because I dislike evangelical Christianity, but because I love it).

  • Catholic Cravings, by Laura, a baby Catholic taking her first steps, with a lot of passion and joy and thought as she learns and journeys. She also has been a great commentator.

  • All along the Watchtower, by Jessica, with Chalcedon451. She is Anglo-Catholic and has so much enthusiasm and an infectious curiosity about all things Catholic and Orthodox and Early Church. And she has been so, so kind in her comments.

Peace be with you all!

15 thoughts on “My first blog awards!

  1. You well deserve nomination. I already know some of the other great blogs you mention, and will be checking out the others; you are very kind to say what you do about mine – I learn a huge amount from you. Chalcedon has promised a homily for tomorrow – can’t wait 🙂

  2. Thank you for the accolade and well-written synopsis of my blog! Does this mean I need to follow the chain by sharing 7 things about moi and nominating other bloggers? If so, I need a mug of coffee or a good cat nap first! 🙂

  3. Thank you!! I’m honoured with the award 🙂

    I found all your Seven Things very interesting and glad you are so long-winded. 😉 It just means we get to know you more!

    I know what you mean about feeling like you’re abandoning your roots. It’s a very strange feeling and in a way, it makes you wonder why you care.

    But in your case, I think you can safely assume that at least some of your Scots-Irish ancestors would have been intermarrying with Catholics girls. But raised their boys Protestant of course. Maybe it’s Catholic evangelism by genealogical stealth…

    Oh, and I’m taking you up on your offer and adding you to facebook!

    • You’re quite welcome. You deserve it. 🙂

      Thank you! I’m glad you thought you were interesting.

      And maybe you’re right about the Catholic girls in Ireland. I’ll have to look into that. 😉 You know, I definitely think I was predestined to be Catholic. My parents gave me a very Catholic name, Joseph Thomas. And if I’d been a girl I was going to be Mary Margaret.

      I’m glad to be your friend here and on Facebook now, too!

      • That so true about your name! When I first found your blog I was actually surprised you were a convert simply because of your name. So I assumed that your background must have a bit of Catholic in it. I mean come on, Joseph? Joseph?? And I know don’t want to even think what would happen if you’d been a girl… You probably would’ve converted when you were three.

        • I’m actually named for my dad’s two grandfathers, one very Baptist and the other very Methodist. I never knew many other Josephs growing up — I can think of one or two all the way through school. And now every time I go to church, I hear someone call “Joseph!” And five or ten people turn their heads. 😀 My pastor, my bishop, and my pope are all named Joseph. Oh, and also my department head at school, who I think is a lapsed Catholic. I’m learning to stop responding to my own name.

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