CATHOLIC PewPOINT:

Never on Sunday!

     Today is the start of Holy Week and the culmination of all we have been striving for during Lent which is a time of penance and sacrifice. And this weekend has been just that because of the inherent problems we have had with our UNIX server which would not allow us to put this on or update PALM SUNDAY's homeport page. We could transfer everything into the directory but none of the files would show up. Talk about frustrating. Of course, Sunday is not a day of work - the Lord's Day, but in order to get a Monday issue for everyone, we try to reserve Sunday for just writing the editorial and transfering the files into the UNIX server for everyone to view first thing Monday morning. It is a problem we cannot fix on Sunday because our Internet Provider doesn't work on Sundays. Rather than getting upset with that, we should commend them for refusing to work on Sunday. But it does cause a crunch on Monday for they don't open until 9 a.m. Pacific time which is already noon on the east coast and well into the evening across the seas. We have a steadily growing international audience and we may have to really get ahead of ourselves to accommodate them. We're still mulling that over because it causes tremendous time crunch for getting it out that early and we miss any breaking stories, etc. We have been averaging putting the next day's issue online between 9 and 10 p.m. Pacific time and it's an all-day process churning out each issue. We may cut back on quantity in order to get it out sooner because we want to please everyone and be up-to-date. So many have said that the Daily CATHOLIC is like their "Catholic USA Today" that we've adopted that slogan. Hopefully we won't get in trouble with the people at Gannett Publications. After all, imitation is the best form of flattery. Actually, we don't imitate USA Today in content in any way whatsoever for we carry in-depth articles and series and don't have exclusive entertainment, business or sports sections like the secular paper or website, but we are daily and we are international and in that respect we try to accommodate the needs of our readers much the same way USA Today does for theirs. We can guarantee one thing: We provide much, much more news and articles on Catholicism than USA Today or any other English daily publication does.

     We are now going on our sixth month of publishing daily and the response has been most encouraging. We garnered 43,000 plus hits in our first month of publishing the Daily CATHOLIC in November and upped that to 55,000 plus in December despite missing a week because of UNIX problems. We doubled that in January and in March we more than tripled November's tally and are averaging over 120,000 hits a month in 1998. Not bad considering we were plodding along with 5,000 hits a month range as late as last July! So the CATHOLIC-INTERNET NETWORK has grown tremendously over the last several months and continues to grow. But with growth always come growing pains and we are experiencing some of these such as the problems outlined above with our UNIX server. Never thought we'd run into the problem of too many cramming the network where it creates a problem but that is evidently the case and the server, not equipped for such traffic, has had problems. We are consulting with our Internet Provider to seek out ways to remedy this so everyone can get in and not get error or busy messages or no data messages that you may have gotten over the weekend.

     It is both encouraging and discouraging. It's Encouraging in that the numbers are growing and subscribers are happy, discouraging in the fact they can't get in or, if the server is cramped on Sunday, we can't do a thing about it because they're closed. We've thought about using a different server, but how can you not stay with a company that refuses to work on Sunday? More power to 'em. And maybe this is God's way of saying "Haven't I said keep holy the Lord's Day?" That's one of the great problems with society today, especially commerce. Everyone works on Sunday. It is no longer the Lord's Day. Gone are those times when everyone gathered as one with extended family for a Sunday dinner after a solemn Sunday Mass. Today one can attend Saturday evening Mass and sleep in Sunday morning or wake at the crack of dawn to either grab the clubs and head out to the links hoping your tee time is still secure as the grass still glistens with the morning dew, or grab a couple of buddies and head out to the closest fishing pond for a day of fishin' and relaxin', or, for some, going to work at Wal-Mart, Target, Lucky, Albertsons, Safeway, Sav-on, Walgreens, McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, or 7-11 to name a few of the countless places that are always open on Sundays. It is a reflection on society, it is a reflection on the moral decline of America - of the world. Ever since Sundays ceased being a day of rest, a day for family as God intended, and more of a day to "catch up" on things we couldn't do the rest of the week - such as mowing lawns, cleaning garages, etc., we have grown less and less dependent on God or family togetherness. This editor is one of the more guilty on this because of the fact we need to get the Monday issue on line and that takes time away from family. Therefore, we have made the pledge, beginning with the Monday issue after Divine Mercy Sunday, to produce a shorter version. We say the Monday after Divine Mercy Sunday because next Monday's issue will be grouped with the EASTER SUNDAY issue which will go on-line Holy Saturday evening. We will produce a special EASTER TRIDUUM issue on Holy Thursday that will include Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, then Easter Sunday-Monday issue with Tuesday, April 14 resuming our regular schedule. Beginning with the Easter Triduum issue we will introduce the Divine Mercy Novena which will continue to Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter. We will also carry special features for Holy Thursday and Good Friday to enhance your Holy Week experience.

      We know you'll understand and appreciate that paring back the Monday issue is necessary for the welfare of family, for the welfare of our own souls so we can give back to God all He has given us. Yes, this work at the Daily CATHOLIC is all for God, but so often we can get wrapped up in deadlines, nerves can get rattled, and God doesn't want that. By having Sunday's free for family and God's time as He intended, it will make it more fruitful and productive for the rest of the week and the Daily CATHOLIC can only grow more if that is His Holy Will. If we can keep that in focus, we'll all grow in His Love and Mercy and devote His day to Him. But to work on Sunday, that is anathema to Him unless it is vital to the welfare of the family. If not, don't! We have decided we can work around the schedule, still provide a Monday issue, but not have to do it on Sunday. We know God will be pleased, we hope you will be, for our motto must be: Never on Sunday!

Michael Cain, editor


Daily CATHOLIC          April 6, 1998