Society

These Catholic Instagram accounts that show beauty really will save the world 

There's plenty of ugly around, but also chances to see God's majesty in picture form

A priest recently quoted me the words of famous theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar who once said there are three things that can save the world: truth, justice, and beauty.  It was beauty Father was encouraging me to focus on in my photography hobby, because contemplating beauty inspires the human person towards the pursuit of what’s good and true.

In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a lot of ugly in the world, but photography gives both the artist and the viewer the opportunity to see in picture form God’s majesty in our mundane and sometimes drudgery-filled lives.

This is one of the reasons I love the social media photo-sharing site Instagram. Almost every time I scroll through the images decorating my feed, I’m reminded about the saving work involved in capturing a fleeting moment of beauty, joy or love. Here are five Catholic Instagram accounts that rock a beautiful picture and in turn promote the Good News.

Spoken Bride
Their tag line: Discover the Beauty in the Truly Sacred. A Catholic Lifestyle Blog for Brides and Newlyweds.

This business account founded by Jiza Zito and Stephanie Calis desires to establish purposeful connection between wedding vendors and brides as well as to provide visually stunning wedding photography. The account highlights the photos of talented women whose images reflect a love for Catholic liturgy, the sacrament of marriage, and the unique relationship of each married couple.

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Father Jason Smith, LC
Father’s tag line includes: A journal of my priesthood, captured on my iPhone.

Father Jason is a missionary priest who travels around New York City, where he is exposed to the beauty of the Catholic faith.

Father Jason says, “Instagram, and in extension all of social media, is where the modern world gathers, something like a virtual Times Square. Twitter is the chatter of conversations around you; YouTube is a like Broadway; websites are like storefront windows inviting you in; Instagram, my favorite, can be compared to the radiant billboards of compelling images you see shining above you. The exciting thing about social media done intentionally is that anyone can contribute a verse, a video, or an image, and if it’s good, it will be heard, read, or seen by many. I find this a very exciting opportunity for evangelization. What I look to do is capture images that open people’s eyes to the beauty of the Catholic faith. Dostoevsky famously wrote that, “Beauty will save the world” and I believe this is true. Thanks to my iPhone, I can snap a picture of it whenever I see it, write a little reflection, and post it in the virtual Times Square of Instagram for whoever is passing by to see. “

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Monks of Vina
A group of Cistercian monks whose tagline reads: Monks in a digital world. Abbey of New Clairvaux, Vina, California.

I love this feed filled with images of monks in full habits. Along with photos highlighting everyday activities of the monks, the captions usually contain words of famous saints and provide greater insight into the order’s spirituality.

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Blessed Is She
Tagline: You don’t have to wonder if you’ll ever find a community of like-minded Catholic women. You just did.

Founder Jenna Guizar says: “We are very intentional and work hard to share beauty on our Instagram feed in order to share the goodness of God, who is the Creator and Force for all beauty. We want to share beauty in order to remember this truth, to remember the Truth, that He is good and loving and wants deeply to have a relationship with every single one of us.”

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Saint John Cantius Church
“A diverse Catholic parish in the heart of Chicago. Home to the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. All photos are from the parish unless noted.”

Father Joshua Caswell has a specific goal in the management of this parish account. He says, “One important thing I want to emphasize: if everything we do flows from our charism (restoration of the sacred), that is helping human hearts discover a profound sense of the sacred and an encounter with Christ through the church’s treasury of art, music, liturgy, sacraments— then we will be doing something important and unique. A charism is a unique gift for the Church. We cannot compete with quantity but we can compete with quality.

“It is true that social media itself will never be an encounter with Christ, but if someone is attracted to come to a liturgy or participate more fully in the sacraments—then someone can encounter Christ.”

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Colleen Duggan

Colleen Duggan, wife and mother of six children, is a freelance writer for various online Catholic publications. She blogs at www.colleenduggan.net, about life as an imperfect mother to many.