About this Site

ElectingthePope.net is a collaborative effort among lay Catholic writers, bloggers, educators, and catechists. We are excited to witness this historic period of Pope Benedict XVI’s unexpected resignation and the papal conclave to elect his successor, and have designed this site to provide well-researched, clear answers to the basic questions about the papal election and Catholic beliefs and practices. Our goal is to be a resource for students, teachers, and others interested in learning about the process of electing a pope and related topics, and to share other reliable sources of information with our readers.

The site does not focus on theological or political questions surrounding the election, or on speculation about the outcome of the conclave. ElectingthePope.net is an independent project not affiliated with any Catholic diocese or institution.

Thank you for visiting our site.

Dorian Speed

Dorian 11.12Dorian Speed is a web designer and Catholic writer with experience teaching in both Catholic and public schools. She created this site as a way for people from all walks of life to learn more about the upcoming papal election and other aspects of Catholic traditions, particularly with regard to the papacy. She is the web editor of Dappled Things, a literary magazine in the Catholic tradition, and a contributor to many other Catholic websites, including CatholicMom.com, Korrektiv, and Amazing Catechists. View Dorian’s web design portfolio at Convolare Design.

Kristan Doerfler Siegel

kristanKristan Doerfler Siegel is a native Houstonian and a cradle Catholic.  She blogs the Catholic perspective at the Emmaus Road for the Houston Chronicle’s HoustonBelief section.  Kristan is a business analyst for a consulting company and has worked in IT for over 12 years.  Kristan has been involved as a catechist, teaching high school faith formation and Confirmation preparation.  Kristan married her best friend earlier this month (Feb. 2, 2013!) and is enjoying life as a newlywed and thankful that her husband is no longer eligible to be elected to the papacy (Texas to Italy would be a very long distance relationship!!)  You can follow Kristan on Twitter at @TXKristan

Christian LeBlanc

Christian LeBlanc is a 6th-grade catechist at St. Mary’s Parish in Greenville, South Carolina. This is his ninth year of teaching sixth grade. Married to Janet, the LeBlancs have five children and two grandsons. Check out his blog Smaller Manhattans and his book on Bible-based catechesis. Christian also contributes to AmazingCatechists.com.

Barb Szyszkiewicz

barb 2011Barb Szyszkiewicz, ofs, is a Secular Franciscan wife, mom and freelance writer. Her three children range in age from elementary school to college, and she enjoys writing, cooking and reading.  Barb has taught English, Spanish and theology. In her “free” time she volunteers at the school library and is a music minister at her parish. Barb blogs at FranciscanMom and shares recipes at Mom’s Fridge and is a “Tech Talk” contributor at CatholicMom.com.

Sarah Reinhard

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In her work as a Catholic wife, mom, writer, parish employee, and catechist, Sarah Reinhard has learned a lot of lessons and had a lot of laughs. She’s a Catholic writerblogger, and author and is active on Twitter and Google+. When she’s not at a keyboard, chances are her nose is in a book or she’s chasing a critter (or, wait, is that a kid?).

Nancy Ewing

IMG_7560  Nancy Ewing is a wife, mother, and painter of icons and sacred art.  She has degrees in art history and law, worked as a commercial litigator, and has been a 5th grade catechist.  Nancy blogs about art, architecture, travel and history, all through the lens of her Catholic faith, at And the Rough Places Plain.

Catholic Sistas

MarywChristChildCatholic Sistas is a multi-contributor blog which focuses on a feminine perspective of the Catholic Faith. Currently with over 50 writers, called Ink Slingers, the mission of the blog is to bring all who read it to know Christ through stories of evangelization, catechesis, testimonials, feast days, crafts, the liturgical year, pro-life issues, and saints, along with occasional reviews, and more. The blog is centered upon a Pauline foundation of being all things to all people which means we seek to bring non-Catholic Christians, lapsed Catholics and even well-formed Catholics to a deeper, richer understanding of their faith and their relationship with Jesus Christ. We want to pray with you, for you, laugh with you and grow in the Faith alongside you. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and our Facebook fan page!

Jonathan F. Sullivan

2012Headshot-325x325Jonathan F. Sullivan is the director of catechetical services for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. He blogs on religious education and evangelization at www.JonathanFSullivan.com.

Jason R. Pascucci


Jason Pascucci is a pre-enlightenment conservative, orthodox Roman Catholic, former Seminarian continuing to discern  his vocation, who managed to both degree in philosophy and keep the Faith – at the same time. Blogger, mod/owner of the Google+ Roman Catholics group (come join, we’ve got a great Catholic community on Google+). Professionally on the bleeding edge of next generation networking.

As more information becomes available, I’m keeping a running tally of the theological leanings of the Cardinal Electors at my blog, here.

Erin Arlinghaus


Erin Arlinghaus lives in Minneapolis, MN, and blogs at bearing blog.  She is not a canon lawyer.

Owen Swain


Owen Swain is a working fine-artist, year ’round bicycle commuter living in Canada (how is that possible, you ask?) and a former Pentecostal-ordained minister of 18 years who converted in 2006 along with his family of five (the dog did not convert). He is grateful for his Protestant heritage and for his conversion to the Church Christ instituted and established for all time. He’s done public speaking on the Catholic faith numerous times including workshops, schools and given Lenten Missions.  // He and his beloved of nearly 30 years have begun a discernment year with the Basilian (Congregation of St. Basil) Lay Associate. He also works part-time for his local Right to Life chapter and volunteers regularly in his home parish which is administered by The Basilian Fathers.  // owenswain.com is his web portfolio and  he recently began blogging again under his former blog name luminous.miseries where he now posts current art, flash-fiction, faith matters and poetry (well, he thinks it’s poetry).


Micaela Darr

Micaela is a former middle school teacher who now homeschools her own rowdy bunch of hooligans. She loves respectful debates, taking pictures, and coffee. Definitely coffee. You can find more of her ramblings over at California to Korea.

Abbey Dupuy

Abbey DupuyAbbey Dupuy is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom to twinfants and a preschooler. She entered the Catholic Church as an adult in 2002 and has served on the RCIA team at her parish, working in faith formation with other adults who are considering becoming Catholic. She writes about practicing gratitude and celebrating the liturgical year with her young family at Surviving Our Blessings. She enjoys running, theology and Diet Coke and has recently started making rosaries.

Rachel McCarson

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Rachel McCarson converted to the Catholic faith, along with her husband, in May of 2012.  She taught kindergarten in the public school system for six years, but resigned in 2011 to pursue other interests.  Currently, she serves as a copy editor and proofreader for this site, teaches a kindergarten CCE class, tutors part-time and has begun the discernment process for becoming a Lay Carmelite.  Throughout the year, she accompanies her husband to boxing events as his photographer. Her photography has been featured at The Sweet Science, as well as on NBC.

Kathryn Whitaker

Whitaker_headshot_blogKathryn Whitaker, a Catholic convert, is the mother of five, a freelance writer and graphic designer, and serves as a blogger for Austin Catholic New Media. She has served the church as a Lector, high school volunteer youth minister and Vacation Bible School director. After three pilgrimages to Italy, a voyage to World Youth Day and a chance meeting with Pope John Paul II, she fell in love with Catholicism and sharing her faith with others. On her personal blog, Team Whitaker, she writes about what she knows: big families, carpool, faith, her beloved Aggies, prematurity and sanity checks with her husband.  You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.