to St. Anthony Messenger’s newest column. During the next 12
months we’re going to take a long look—in Web-sized pieces—at Web
sites aimed at Catholics. We’ll consider some of the issues that the
Internet is bringing to the Church.
I hope to share with
you some of what we’ve learned since 1995 in developing AmericanCatholic.org
and its sister sites: CatholicGreetings.org,
PledgePeace.org, and, most
Along the way, we’ll examine questions that we think are most important
as Catholics use the World Wide Web.
This won’t be a “techie”
column. I want to go beyond the machine into the ultimate goals of
the people who are operating it—both Web-site publishers and the millions
who are searching the Web for useful information, inspiration and
ways to connect with friends and family. The Web essentially is about
people communicating with other people. And we believe that God speaks
through people, events, all of creation.
Each month I’ll choose
a parish site, a media site, an inspirational site and one outstanding
site from any category to showcase. I welcome your suggestions. Send
them to me by e-mail at: WebCatholic@franciscanmedia.org.
No one can deny that the dawn of the third millennium has brought
a communications revolution. One commentator called it the e-moment,
a time when it’s “e-everything.” We all know that if we watch TV,
listen to radio or read the paper. Pope John Paul II saw it coming
more than a decade ago. In his encyclical Mission of the Redeemer
he describes mass communications as the “new culture” into which the
gospel must be integrated (#37).
That’s a theme to which I will return. Just as St. Paul preached
the Christian message at the Areopagus in Athens, competing with philosophers,
Christians today are placed side by side with every philosophy and
faith in the listings of “spirituality” or “religion” at major Web
indexes like Yahoo. How will we touch the minds and hearts of today’s