Pope Francis Motorcade

Image: ABC News

There are many ways to celebrate Pope Francis’ first visit to America. But what is the best, unfiltered and easiest way to follow Pope Francis’ visit? I thought I would share six ways I’m engaging online during his time in the US and how to get unfiltered, honest, non-secularized news and updates about his visit.

After all, the pope will mainly be speaking in Spanish while he’s in the states, so the last thing you want is something lost in translation.

Get the Catholic Church App

Recently released, the Catholic Church app from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops allows for access to information from various Catholic sources (parishes, dioceses, the U.S. bishops and the Vatican) into one, single mobile solution. In addition to daily scripture readings and religious news, it will also offer exclusive up-to-the-minute and in-depth coverage of the pope’s visit. The special photo and video coverage will be available on the app through Sept. 27. Download USA Catholic Church for free on the U.S. Catholic Church’s website or through the Apple app store.

Image: USA Catholic Church app

Image: USA Catholic Church app

Pope Emoji (Need I Say More?)

Twitter recently announced its creation of four custom pope emoji’s and pope hashtags to help people chat online about the historic papal visit.

GIF: Twitter

Go to News Sources that are Actually Catholic

  • National Catholic Register – The National Catholic Register began in Denver in the late 1920s as the Denver Catholic Register. Now owned by EWTN, the paper prides itself on being a daily news outlet that is faithful to the Magisterium and professional in presentation. Amongst many supposed Catholic media companies, the NC Register remains a resource for faithful Catholics seeking to understand their Church and their world. It hosts a myriad of correspondents and gives opinion through their various and well-known bloggers. Follow NC Register on twitter @NCRegister
  • Catholic News Services – Catholic News Service serves the mission of the Church itself – to spread the Gospel through contemporary means of communication. Serving since 1920 as a news agency specializing in reporting on religion, CNS is the primary source of national and world news that appears in the U.S. Catholic press. Their website is a little outdated, but decent reporting. You can find them on twitter @CatholicNewsSvc
  • Rome Reports – Rome Reports is a great source for Catholic news videos. Updated on a regular basis, Rome Reports is faithful to the Church and reliable for up to date videos on Catholic news and papal events. Watch the moment when Pope Francis greeted the world for the first time and check out their twitter @romereports
  • Zenit – Zenit has some of the most comprehensive Vatican News coverage. When the Holy Father issues an Encyclical or Document it is online within 24 hours. It also prints important news on the international Church and comes in several languages. Follow them on twitter @zenitenglish

Personally, I stay away from the following:

  • National Catholic Reporter – Lovingly called the National Catholic Fishwrap by popular blogger Father Z and others, the supposed Catholic newspaper has broad coverage but is often called out for its heresy and dissent. I call it the National Catholic Distorter.
  • Mainstream Media “Faith Blogs” – Sites like the Huffington Post on Religion and the CNN Belief Blog are complete froth and generally only host those religious thinkers who are either atheists or angry ex-members of a given religion.

Go Straight to the Source (Vatican News)

The official news site of the Vatican offers the faithful brief news articles on the Pope and the Church, videos of His Holiness and multiple news outlets. They tweet @newsva_en

Use the Pope’s Own App

Billed as “the official Pope Francis app,” this is your gateway to the latest news and information on Pope Francis. The app allows you to track the pope’s Twitter feed, view live-streams of what’s happening on each of his stops and stay up to date with live radio coverage from Vatican Radio. Created by Vatican Radio and offered for free in the Apple app store.

Image: The Pope App

Image: The Pope App

Watch LIVE on EWTN or CatholicTV

EWTN is probably your best bet for the most comprehensive, multimedia coverage of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Visit to the United States. They will be streaming non-stop online (and on their mobile app) and broadcasting live on TV and radio. With uninterrupted coverage available in both English and Spanish, EWTN is a fantastic source to watch every step of the way.

Another great source for #PopeinUS video is CatholicTV. Although they are not broadcasted in all areas, you can watch coverage live on their website. For those of you who can’t stream video while you’re at work, they have on-demand papal programming at CatholicTV.com.

What sites or apps are you using to follow Pope Francis’ USA visit?