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!
I will sing with the angelic choirs
The song they sang that blest morn,
When shepherds first heard the glad story
That JESUS, the SAVIOR was born.
We will share in telling the story
How Jesus to Bethlehem came.
We'll sing the glad songs of redemption
How we're saved through His precious Name.
You know how I always loved Christmas.
It seemed such a wonderful day
With loved ones gathered around me
The children so happy, yes, okay.
But how can I tell you of Heaven,
No Christmas on earth could compare
With all the rapture and beauty
I've never beheld ever anywhere.
Though I miss you all so dearly.
What a joy someday it will be
When my loved ones and friends are with me
To SHARE in the glories I see.
Till then, keep looking for Jesus.
He shall one day come for you.
Once again we'll share Christmas together
In our sweet home beyond the blue!
The children were getting ready to crawl into bed
Not once ever kneeling nor bowing their heads.
And Mom in her rocker with the baby on her lap
Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.
When out of the East there arose such a clatter,
That I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter,
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Flung open the shutters and raised up the sash.
When what to my wondering eyes did appear
But the angels proclaiming that Jesus was here!
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray,
I knew in a second this must be the DAY!
The light of His countenance made me cover face,
It was truly Divine Mercy radiant with grace.
And though I was manly with worldly things and wealth,
I cried when I say Him in spite of myself.
In the words of this verse the meaning is clear;
Jesus's Second Coming is drawing near.
A new millennium dawns - the Triumph will come
Believing God's words - sadly there are only some.
Now is the time, light the lamps, do not tarry a bit,
Tell all you know to kneel and pray, do not sit.
Rush to your church, be not late for Christ's Mass.
It's your chance to truly receive Him at last.
Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity He is present,
Examine your conscience, be not negligent;
For today may be your last, and you want to be ready
To receive His graces with a pure soul that's steady.
For if we forget His Word and neglect His earthly Vicar,
The very core of our souls will grow much sicker.
Consider the scene that I am about to relate
Of how Jesus looked at me and slowly did state:
"In this great Book, that I hold in My hands,
Contain the names of each saved woman and man."
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name;
When He pined, "You're not here" my soul hung in shame.
The people whose names had been written in love
He gathered to take to His Just Father above.
With those who were ready He embraced as sheep found
While all the rest were left standing around.
I fell to my knees, but it was too late;
I had waited too long, thus sealing my fate!
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight;
Oh, if only, dear God, I had been ready tonight.
For all Heaven weeps when one soul is lost,
If only we could understand the terrible cost.
For there's only one life and when comes the last call
We'll know His Words, through His Church, are true after all!
Death of Saint Thorlac Thorhallsson, Icelandic bishop and reformer who insisted on clerical celibacy and stricter discipline in his see as Bishop of Skalholt. Though a cult honoring him rose up it was never formally recognized by Rome. He is considered the patron saint of Iceland.
Death of Hendrik de Guise, French leader of the Catholic League by the French Hugenots which would gain in power after his death, eventually declaring war against the French King Louis XIII on this same date in 1620. Hendrik's cousin was the Archbishop of Reims.
Pope Pius XI issues his first encyclical Ubi arcano Dei consilio on the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ in a plea for world peace in the aftermath of World War I.
Pope Pius XII publishes his ninth encyclical Orientales omnes Ecclesias commemorating the 350th anniversary of the reunion with Rome of the Ruthenian Church.
Election of Pope Clement II, 149th successor of Peter. His pontificate would last less than a year in which his great preoccupation would be with the arrogance of the Count-Bishops, the cause of much bitter fighting among their vassals. He would also succeed in overcoming the resistance of Bishop Aribert of Milan. It was Clement who would canonize the Hungarian martyr Saint Viborata.
Cardinal Benedetto Gaetani becomes Pope Boniface VIII, 193rd successor of Peter. This pope of great stature but questionable measures, would celebrate the first Holy Year in 1300 and decree that every one hundred years it would be repeated. During his bitter fued with King Philip IV of France this former advisor to Popes would issue the famous Papal Bull Unam Sanctam.
Pope John Paul II lights the first Channukah candle ever officially lit at the Vatican in a gesture of peace toward the Jews.
Death of Pope Hadrian I, 95th successor of Peter. This Roman-born pontiff had been elected on February 1, 772. During his 13-year papacy he restored the walls of Rome and the ancient aqueducts. The golden statue of the tomb of St. Peter and the silver pavement in front of the altar of the Confession are due to him. He convened the 7th Ecumenical Council in 787 at Nicea in which Iconoclasm was condemned.
Pope Saint Leo III crowns Charlemagne Holy Roman Emperor at St. Peter's on Christmas night.
Pope Clement VI crowns Henry III Holy Roman Emperor. Henry had accompanied this new Saxon Pope to Rome after Popes Sylvester III, Gregory VI and Benedict IX had been deposed.
Saint Francis of Assisi displays the first Nativity creche scene in Greccio, Italy, beginning a lasting and venerable tradition that would remind all of the reason for the season.
Pope Pius VI issues his first encyclical Inscrutabile which outlined the problems of the pontificate.
Pope Pius XII releases his 32nd encyclical Musicae sacrae on sacred music and the use of popular music in the liturgy.
Death of Pope Saint Dionysius, 25th successor of Peter. Also known as Pope Saint Denis this Turio-born pontiff's papacy lasted nine years. At the time he was elected on July 22, 259 the Barbarians were storming the gates of the Roman Empire. He was actually elected a year after his successor Pope Saint Sixtus II because of persecutions. He reorganized the parishes of Rome and obtained liberty for the Christians from Gaul, which would eventually become France.
Death of Pope Saint Zosimus, 41st successor of Peter. Of Greek extraction, he was elected on March 18, 417. He had a strong personality and insisted on the rights of the Church against foreign interference. A holy man of very strict morals, he ordained that illegitimate children could not be raised to the priesthood. He sent apostolic vicars to the Franks.
Cardinal Mindszenty is arrested by the Communists in Hungary after they had taken over "Caritas" and all the Catholic schools, universities and religious institutions the same year. The Cardinal was sentenced to life-imprisonmentin 1949. He was released in 1956 during the successful uprising in that country and took refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Budapest. He died in Vienna, Austria in 1975 a free man.
Pope John Paul II pardons Mehmet Ali Agca the man who shot the Holy Father on May 13, 1981 in St. Peter's Square.