DAILY CATHOLIC   Monday, November 10, 1997   volume 8, no. 27

The Benchmark for Catholicism in America: EWTN

   Probably the best known Roman Catholic site on the net is EWTN, primarily because it is the same large organization operated by Mother Angelica and her tremendous traditional Roman Catholic ministry tucked away in the beautiful environs of the tree-shaded monastery where EWTN headquarters are on Old Leeds Road in Birmingham, Alabama. The site is easier to find than her television network, available only on a few satellites and limited cable channels. Just type in Depending on the speed of your modem and the capabilities of your browser, you might find that the site loads slowly due to extensive graphics, but itís worth the wait. Once there, you'll be moved by the photos melded with type and graphics that can only be described in one word: Edifying!

    Once youíve connected to the home page you are given a wide selection to choose from to enhance your knowledge of your Catholic Faith. What we like best is that it changes frequently and there's always something new. You can get lost for hours in the plethora of pages in this magnificent site.    Various categories include: Faith: which features a Q & A section, a Bulletin Board for announcements, Prayers, Devotions and a section devoted to the Teachings of the Catholic Church. Another click takes you into News of the Church and is one of the best sources for finding out about the Fall National Bishops' Conference which is currently underway. Thereís, of course, a TV section which details the programming on EWTN and the time schedule for these program, (all times listed are Eastern). The Radio section also offers you scheduling, where to tune and how to pick up the signal, via short-wave radio, or via your own computer and the software you need to do this. That is one of the great advantages of this site if you can download the free plug-in to be able to pick up WEWN via AudioNet on your computer. It's a great companion if you have the available RAM.    The EWTN library is one of its greatest assets, consisting of approximately 6,000 documents of the Catholic Faith that you can access. They also provide a Gallery featuring selections on sacred art. One of the most beautiful is their visual tour of St. Peter's Basilica with photos that take your breath away and leave the browser with a sense of reverence and plenty of time to pray between downloads since it does take a while for each large image to be completed. Naturally, EWTN offers a Catalogue Page offering online shopping of religious goods from books, prayer cards, missals, and even jewelry and statues. The General Information section offers press releases and information on contacting ETWN by E-mail or letter, and you can also subscribe to an E-mail list for future updates and postings on news releases.    There is a quick guide to the scripture selections for the week, plus the Jubilee Year 2000 prayer and reflections on the Jubilee Year 2000. At the bottom of the home page is a banner offering these same selections in Spanish. The information in some of the sections was not up to the minute, but focused on EWTN and its apostolateís goals through the end of 1996. Otherwise, the news releases and sources focused on current events with the accuracy we have all come to anticipate from Mother Angelica. Mother's coverage on the events during the recent death of Mother Teresa and the special tribute to her was especially impressive and very informative, not to mention well laid-out in the sacred style one has come to expect from EWTN. Whenever we check this site out, we enjoy itís graphics, and its overall quality of superb Catholic teachings, devotions and information.     EWTN joined cyberspace in early 1996 when they purchased the Catholic Resource Network (CRNET) from Worldgroup Manager out of Arlington, Virginia. Previously CRNET had charged for their services and furnished a CD for downloading the vast information. EWTN took that information and added it to their spiritual arsenal. Because of ETWN's resources, no password is needed, because they are able to offer this online to all since financial support for this impressive web site comes, of course, from that given to Mother Angelica through her television and radio programming. Because some pages do not load as fast as others, and their policy is not to carry reciprocal links, one might think we might deduct from that and give a lower rating than expected, but rather than incurring the wrath of Mother Angelica fans and because we love the sight so, there is so much available in both English and Spanish, and because it is so solidly Roman Catholic and the liberals hate it - there is only one rating to give EWTN's web site: a full decade of TEN HAIL MARY's

Visitors in 1997