On the Feast of Saint Jude, patron of impossible causes we surpassed four million visits for 1999. That truly seemed impossible when we first went on line two years ago this Monday on November 1, 1997 with the ambitious endeavor of being the first English-speaking regular daily publication for Catholics anywhere in existence. Two years later we are still the only one. Why? Quite possibly because it is a major project that many are not willing to undertake, but for us it has always been a labor of love and because we rely totally on the Holy Spirit, we know no limits. True, this can sometimes humanly work against us like sleep deprivation when we're working into the wee hours to get the issue on-line because of server glitches that might have caused the delays. Yet, we have been quite blessed with a minimal amount of breakdowns working with mid-nineties equipment that Saint Michael the Archangel hovers over and keeps as free from viruses and crashes as possible. We may be the only ones whose computer's condensation is from the liberal sprinkling of holy water! Still we haven't had a power short or been electrocuted, praise God!
It is truly amazing the course of events God has guided us through and how the DAILY CATHOLIC has grown so rapidly in two years purely through word of mouth since we have no budget to advertise and refuse to turn this publication into a commercial venture where we would put in banner ads and link exchange because we want to keep the focus on Catholicism and what Catholics need each day - other than Holy Mass - to gird for battle as members of the Church Militant. We can remember writing in this column back in August 1998 how ecstatic we were at reaching one million visits for that year. Yet, we only ended up with 83, 832 visits or hits that month. Since then the figures don't lie - the faithful like what they see for the number of visits have increased steadily month by month. We ended 1998 with 204,252 for December and started January with 265,336 for that first month. February, the shortest month of the year garnered 303,974 hits followed by 431,840 in March and exceeding that by 15 in April. In May we dropped to 350,545 which was still triple what we did in May 1997. June showed a rebound of 400,895 followed by July's 412,665 hits and August's 451,854. Those are phenomenal numbers for the summer months. September showed yet another increase with our all-time high of 464,637 visits. That will be surpassed by over 50,000 this month for as of Wednesday, October 28 we had registered 485, 851. To date we have had 5,921,295 since going on line, quite near six million total. To date we have increased the number of visits this year by 2,224,171 more than the entire 1998 total of 1,809,684.
Naturally numbers can be misleading for "hits" do not mean number of people logging on but how many pages have been accessed. Through our detailed records and stats kept electronically, we have deciphered that each person clicks on an average of five to ten different pages. Some only read the front page each day, others go right to the Text Only Section to print out the entire issue immediately, others surf throughout the site, while others scan back issues and articles in archives. Therefore, computing the numbers accurately with an average 7.5 hits per person it would average out to nearly 800,000 people who have logged on since the DAILY CATHOLIC went on line two years ago and 540,000 persons this year alone. Who wouldn't want to have those kind of numbers for circulation?! We think those numbers are staggering for a publication that does not advertise and depends totally on word of mouth satisfaction and the Providence and Mercy of God for it is He that is doing it. We are merely His instruments and pray every day not to get in His way. So despite our human frailties, the ministry of the DAILY CATHOLIC has continued to succeed only because God desires it. Consider if you will, that though our links are increasing, we are not listed on as many other sites as you might think and we can't understand always why. But then, if they are as swamped as we are and backlogged with so many requesting links, we can understand. We ask those who have submitted links to be patient. We can only do so much in the time allotted and researching and adding links is very time consuming. If we didn't have a daily to put out Monday through Friday, we'd have time to put all the links on-line, but in weighing the options we think everyone would rather have that advantage of the daily news and features geared to Catholics.
We strive to provide around 250 issues a year, publishing Monday through Friday with exceptions being the weekly hiatuses twice a year and special holidays and Holydays. This year there will be only 248 issues because of the remaining Holy Day of All Saints, the Immaculate Conception and the Nativity. Therefore this weekend issue incorporates, if you will the "Communion of Saints Weekend" celebrating the Church Militant on Friday and Saturday with Ordinary Time; the Church Triumphant with All Hallows Day celebrated this year either Sunday or Monday; and Tuesday the Church Suffering with All Souls Day. Therefore, we are combining Monday and Tuesday with this weekend issue for a five-day weekend, resuming with Wednesday's issue for November 3, the Feast of Saint Martin de Porres. It will also give us a breather to catch up on correspondence and recalibrate the computer, defrag the countless files, scandisk the drives, etc. These are all costly but they need to be done and this five-day break is an ideal time to get it all done.
That brings up another point. One would think that with over half a million people plugged into the DAILY CATHOLIC that we would be swimming in funds, but that's really our own fault because we seldom have taken the time to solicit donations to keep the DAILY CATHOLIC on line. We've trusted, as we've said, in God and everything so far has fallen into place according to His Will, but He also expects us to seek help for Our Lord says in Luke 11: 9-10, "And I say to you, ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks it shall be opened." So we're asking for all readers to pray and discern if they can send one dollar, two dollars, five, ten or whatever they are moved to donate to help keep this apostolate going. We operate on a shoe-string budget with outdated equipment but are still able to churn out issue after issue. And every issue is available in archives. That's over 500 issues with the front page of each issue available in both the enhanced full color graphics edition and the Text Only edition for that day. To store all these files takes a tremendous amount of server space which is very, very costly in meg storage costs. We would love to add a search the site program but it is just not possible on the budget we operate with presently. To provide more features and keep all these issues on line for review and research takes money, lots of it and we are totally dependent of our readers to help in whatever way they can.
As Jesus says in Luke 19: 2, "The harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into His harvest. Go. Behold, I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry neither purse, nor wallet, nor sandals, and greet no one on the way. Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house!' And if a son of peace be there, your peace will rest upon him; but if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they have; for the laborer deserves his wages." We are sent into the cyberworld to carry the Word and the truths of His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church to all we meet. If, in your own house you enjoy and are edified by what is imparted through the DAILY CATHOLIC, then we respectfully ask you to continue reading this publication, pray for us, and remember Our Lord's charge that "the laborer deserves his wages."