As we wrap up nineteen-hundred and ninety-eight, we have an announcement to make that may shock many: As of January 1, 1999 the CATHOLIC-INTERNET NETWORK will be no more! Before you pull out your hair or pound your chest for not contributing more to keep it on-line, consider the alternatives. First of all, you'll still be able to reach us at www.catholic-internet.org for awhile but it will, as of January 1, 1999, officially become the DAILY CATHOLIC at www.DailyCatholic.org. In effect, we are merely changing the URL and placing all emphasis on the DAILY CATHOLIC as we head into the second full year of publishing on the net.
The reasons for this change are many. First of all, it is easier to remember. We had so many problems with people not putting the dash or hyphen between "catholic" and "internet" that they often were not able to find us. With a strong promotional push all will know where to reach us at www.DailyCatholic.org or www.dailycatholic.org or WWW.DAILYCATHOLIC.ORG. In other words, now if you type it in upper/lower case, all lower case or all upper case, you'll still find it. The site will be strictly devoted to the publication the DAILY CATHOLIC and no longer be camouflaged by the CATHOLIC-INTERNET NETWORK. There already is a Catholic Internet Network without the hyphen so that contributed to the confusion. There is a DailyCatholic.com but that will complement our publication for we will daily link that site to provide the reader with the day's readings, little known saint of the day biography and a slice of Catechetical teaching. This is provided by a devoted lay webologist in Oregon and all should benefit from this interaction. In addition to this there are other additions for 1999 that should excite the reader in our attempt to provide the most comprehensive, up-to-date daily material for the reader in continuing to be the "USA TODAY for Catholics".
As of this writing we have just passed one and three quarter million visits to the pages of the DAILY CATHOLIC for 1998. That, in itself is remarkable when one considers that we are still not that well known. With more promotion of the site through links and word of mouth we could very well double that in 1999. Some of the new features debuting in 1999 will be COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION in which we will spotlight each member of the Conclave. We find this necessary as our dear Sovereign Pontiff grows older, clinging to hope, as we join him, of seeing the light of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart with the dawn of the new millennium - the Jubilee Year of 2000. How much longer Pope John Paul II has left on this earth only God knows for sure, but His Divine Mercy is evident in allowing him to be with us this long for he is truly a saint for our times, truly Christ's Vicar on earth in these waning years before the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Time of Peace, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the New Pentecost, the Second Advent, the Age of the Holy Spirit. What 1999 will bring we have no idea, nor does anyone else, but with John Paul II at the helm, we feel much more secure in knowing God's Will will be done. Nevertheless, we want to preview the future Pope whether that be soon or much, much later, for no one lives forever and eventually one of those prelates will be selected as the 265th successor of Peter. This will give the reader a better insight into the man whom the Holy Spirit will move the conclave to choose.
Another area we're going to improve on is our links section. Admittedly, that has been quite dormant for the past half year and we extend our apologies to those who have requested us to add their site in our links section. We have discovered that maintaining the links section can be a full-time job and we simply have not had the time to keep up with putting out a daily issue. However, with the holidays we hope to take that time to revamp the links section and streamline the entire section alphabetically. We are all in this together in fulfilling Our Lord's words in Luke 16: 15, "Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature." Therefore, beginning with the January 4th issue we will feature a SITE OF THE DAY, not in detail, but to introduce the reader to the site. Most of these will not be major sites, but small "mom and pop" sites that don't get much play but offer something of value.
Speaking of something of value, a few weeks ago we devoted an entire editorial to a stalwart of the faith who we have not seen the likes of since he died - Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. Though he is gone, the words he imparted are still with us and thus we will bring portions of his best vignettes in SHEEN-SHINES once or twice a week. We feel the gems he conveyed have been lost on the last few generations and it's vital that we help reach those unfortunate souls who have been denied these pearls of wisdom that so easily clarify our precious faith.
We'll also be bringing you a regular menu of articles on Catholic doctrine from the Catholic Dispatch in ECCLESIAL ECHOES as well as a daily dose of facts on the faith, organization of the Church, encyclopedic tidbits on Catholicism in CATHOLIC CANVAS in which each day provides a brush stroke to the overall tableau of the workings of the Roman Catholic Church. We're still working on some changes in the layout, but nothing drastic. It's been working well so far so, as they say, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." But we'll continue to experiment to help make the DAILY CATHOLIC something you'll look forward to each day. While adding some new features, we may drop a few features that have not garnered that much interest. We have the technology of our tracking sources that keep us abreast of what you, the reader, really want as evident from the number of visitors recorded for each page. Once we dissect all this information, we'll be better able to separate the "wheat from the chaff."
So that gives you an inkling of what to expect in 1999. But until we say goodbye to 1998, we want to wish all a Blessed Christmas and our heartfelt thanks for making this year such a great one on the evangelistic front. With the changes next week we are confident the DAILY CATHOLIC will move on to greater horizons in reaching out to all to bring the One, True, Catholic and Apostolic Faith to many, many more. No one really knows what the future will bring, but if we rely on what has been handed down from the past and live it, then the present will be our most secure present!