Well, the first phase of our vacation is complete with the next to come in mid-August. The latter will be more of a rest and relax time for we've been extremely busy updating the archives and have completed the major project of revamping our Ports o' Call section and counting ballots, and more ballots, and even more ballots for the readers' choices for the Top 100 Catholics of the Twentieth Century. More about that later.
For now we want to share with you some of the upgrades made during our first hiatus this summer. If you've noticed, we have begun listing links by category in our expanding PORTS O' CALL Links section and divided them by various "decks" on the good ship S.S. DAILY CATHOLIC with each deck named after a title of the Blessed Mother: Advocate Deck, CoRedemptrix Deck, Mediatrix Deck, Queen of Peace Deck and Mystical Rose Deck. We have also been able to add all the Dioceses, Archdioceses and Sees in union with Rome in the United States on the CoRedemptrix Deck. We feel it will be much easier to look up a source and find the category you are looking for and access that link. Because of the number of links and limited space on each deck we are just listing the site with no description attached for that took up way too many bytes on the server. We have also completed the archive file of our on-going megaseries on the Church Today entitled WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM? so now you can review over 100 installments in archives from the inaugural installment in November 1997 through installment 106. The same holds true for all Sister Mary Lucy Astuto's columns GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER Sister has been with us since 1991 and we know how much readers look forward to her simple, concise and inspirational words each Friday. We hope eventually to do the same for all our features and columns. Presently you can read all of Pat Ludwa's columns at VIEW FROM THE PEW and past editorials for this year at CATHOLIC PewPOINT. The same holds true for our humorous/thought-provoking feature each Wednesday dubbed FOOD FOR THOUGHT APPETEASERS and our newest series 2000 YEAR VOYAGE ON THE BARQUE OF PETER. In addition, each Prince of the Church is added to the archive list at COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION as we continue that series on all the cardinals. We can now also offer 82 installments of THE HISTORY OF THE MASS AND HOLY MOTHER CHURCH with only the first 24 installments not yet on-line. The disks where they were stored were damaged and therefore we must retype them all so that will take considerable time. The same thing happened to the majority of our installments for another mega-series - AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS so that will also take additional time to upload. We also will eventually put the 100 Meditative Lessons from THE HIDDEN WAY in archives as well as the 632 Messages in "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU...". For now however, you can order both books and have it all at your fingertips at BOOKS by either credit card or mailing to the address on the form. There are other articles and special features we'll be putting on other archive files for easier, faster retrieval for all. As always this is a major time-consuming project so please be patient.
Speaking of patience, yours is about to be rewarded beginning in today's issue with the debut of the countdown of the TOP 100 CATHOLICS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. Today we feature the 100th person selected by you - our loyal readers. The response was truly overwhelming. Over a three-month period of time we received a total of 23,455 votes nominating 728 different candidates for "Top 100 Catholics of the 20th Century" consideration. The top five vote-getters garnered 9,477 with the top ten registering a total 13,470 and the top twenty-five totaling 18,085 or 77% of the entire vote. The Top 100 chosen received 21,603 votes with those 628 candidates not making the list receiving 8% of the vote. The amazing thing is we're still receiving over 100 votes on a daily basis even though the polls were closed on July 4th.
Caliber-wise in the final tally, DAILY CATHOLIC readers made excellent choices and, as you will see over the next four months, there's a good balance throughout the century list. Eight of the nine Roman Pontiffs of this century made the list except for Pope John Paul I whose pontificate lasted only one month. There are five Saints and six Blesseds as well as seven whose cause for Beatification has been introduced to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The voters selected fifteen cardinals, seven bishops, nineteen priests, seven nuns and two lay brothers. The laity is well represented with four entertainers, four politicians, six renowned secular authors, and numerous dynamic Marian luminaries that have proved their worth through the fruits they have produced by their efforts. Education checks in with several who made the list in all aspects of scholastics including two university presidents. The pro-life movement also has several organizers who made the list as well as well-known leaders of various Catholic non-profit organizations and institutions dedicated to upholding the truths of the Church.
After prayer and deliberation, we made some adjustments in those eligible for the list. To give you an idea, Cyndi received numerous votes for her role as the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart and was humbled by the voters' accolades but she respectfully withdrew her name from consideration and her reasons prompted us to withdraw all visionaries, seers, locutionists and messengers from the list except for the Church-approved Fatima visionaries. The rationale for the editor's decision was reached in order to avoid any kind of controversy and taking into consideration that those receiving private revelation should not be known for their accomplishments but for merely being the vehicle to disseminate messages as their fiat to God. After all, too often the message is missed because people place too much emphasis on the messenger. That is not God's intent. We have also eliminated anyone who is not Catholic or was not considered in good standing with the Church. In all, we have endeavored to keep it as free from tampering as possible, but we have made sure that everyone of the candidates selected are loyal to the Magisterium of the Church and the teachings, doctrines and dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church. Some are liberal, many, many moderate, and there are several who are conservative.
In short, the list mirrors the tastes of DAILY CATHOLIC readers with an excellent mix of Catholic men and women from all walks of life from almost every period of this century. We take great satisfaction with the final selection of the Top 100 Catholics of the Twentieth Century according to the readers' vote. You will see the results in each issue as we reveal the 100 Top Catholics in a countdown that will culminate with the top ten in December. To assist us in biographies of these top 100 Catholics, we have enlisted the generous contributions of Tracy Dowling and Pat Ludwa to help us write various vignettes on some of the winning candidates. The suspense should build as we countdown to the number one Top Catholic between 1900 and 1999 - the person receiving the most votes which you'll find out in December. Until then, we're going to keep you on pins and needles and so, on the Feast of that great mystic Saint Bridget of Sweden who received the 15 promises, we promise an enjoyable run through the Top 100 Catholics as you, the voters, chose. Again, we're going to keep everything as secret as possible revealing the list one by one. And so now, start your inquisitive engines and let the countdown begin!