of us take our parish bulletin for granted. Yet in it we find the
pulse of our parish in the coming week and beyond. The best parish
Web sites start with the bulletin’s mission, add the reading rack
and build from there. And, unlike bulletins, they are never lost.
Our Lady of Peace Parish
in Marshfield, Wisconsin, (www.olpmarshfield.org)
is a good example. It has a bulletin board, prayer resources, Scripture
notes from the pastor, a memoir by a senior parishioner and is unified
with the parish school page. This Web site is about people in community.
Two Holy Family parishes
show more. One in Stow, Ohio, (www.holyfamilystow.org)
allows parishioners to share what they like best about being part
of Holy Family, and has another area for sharing brief personal witnesses
to faith. There are schedules, a map with directions, a welcome to
new parishioners and an archive of a lively parish newsletter. Holy
Family in Pasadena, California, (www.holyfamily.org)
boasts much of the above, with a search option. There is a multitude
of content here, including resources for conducting a do-it-yourself,
faith-sharing get-together in your home. Parishioners are invited
to sign up for a parish e-mail newsletter list, a valuable supplement
to the parish Web site of which we’ll be seeing more.
Our Lady of Victory
Parish in Baltimore (www.olvictory.org)
has a Bible quiz and a poll. Whom do you address in prayer? (God the
Father was winning over Jesus and the Holy Spirit when I voted—recount,
anyone?) Like many sites, it has a guide for Confession and other
useful tips for Catholic living.
Universal, Yet Local
The paradox of parish Web sites is that a page accessed 'round the
world might be most powerful as a way to help people in neighborhoods
stay in touch with each other.
The best parish Web sites are posting prayer intentions that allow
everyone, everywhere to pray for each other’s particular needs. They
have links to parish-sponsored programs. They find clever ways to
build a sense of community among the faithful. They use the Web to
help people live, work and pray together face-to-face.