DAILY CATHOLIC   Monday, November 17, 1997   volume 8, no. 27


Venturing into a Virtual City for Catholics: CatholiCity

     Probably one of the most fun sites for Catholics on the net is the CatholiCity site, founded by the Mary Foundation organizer Bud Macfarlane, Jr. who also has authored two excellent novels - "Pierced by a Sword" and "Conceived without Sin." Both, by the way, along with audio tapes - many by Bud's father, Bud Macfarlane, Sr. - a well-respected expert speaker on Marian Apparitions - are available FREE at this site. In fact, that is one of the great lures of this site: Everything is FREE. While few sites can afford this luxury, the Mary Foundation and Saint Jude's Media, which are the parent organizations for the CatholiCity site, have the benefit of many talented volunteers from nearby Franciscan University of Stuebenville. This allows them to produce a site that is graphically at the edge of excellence and loads quickly, a feat not always attained by other sites.

     The Home page, reached by clicking on www.catholicity.com, changes frequently, but the feature we like best is the virtual city. By scrolling down towards the bottom on the left, you can click on the city. This brings up a clever panorama of a colorful, virtual village for Catholics with the Lourdes Grotto in the background. The Grotto contains links for devotions and prayer movements along with prayer information. Move to the center where St. Peter's Cathedral rises and here you'll find the Daily Canon, Mass Times for certain parishes in northern Ohio, and links to Religious Orders, Pro Life Organization, and Marian information. Below the Cathedral is City Hall which contains everything you want to know about the behind-the-scenes activity at this site including interesting, humorous bios on all the major staff. They also have a special 52-day novena of Rosaries they promote and we highly recommend. Elsewhere in the city you can go to Aquinas School which conveys links to solid Catholic institutions and the best Roman Catholic home schooling programs. Probably, the best grade for this school goes to its links to entire documents of such stalwart works as St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica as well as lins to the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church, and many complete versions of the Bible on the web, including the respected Douay-Rheims and Latin Vulgate versions. On the right side is the Market which offers information and links on books, videos, audios and gifts. There is no competition at this site and they willingly link all sorts of items available elsewhere. It is as a good Catholic site should be, working in unison with other Catholic sites to promote the one, true faith to all. This is probably CatholiCity's greatest attribute.

      In the upper left hand corner is Saint Paul International Airport, a clever way to display links to other sites. They feature the A, B, and C concourse with CCity Airlines and links are very informative with descriptions of each site as well as key words which can be used in CatholiCity's Keyword Search Engine. Their listings, alphabetically arranged, are the benchmark for link listing and something we are working on improving to that calibre here at the CATHOLIC-INTERNET NETWORK.

     CatholiCity offers something few Catholic sites offer and that is chat rooms and discussion groups in various categories. They call the discussion groups Crosstalk and that could backfire on them, because often these discussion groups have descended into opinion-oriented, small-minded cliques that subtly discourage others from taking part. Because of the nature of the beast, it can often be infiltrated by those who seek to disrupt more than contribute. They feature a special discussion group just for Catholic webmasters which is a first and a plus.

     Though CatholiCity was the brainchild of Bud Jr., the brains behind the excellence it has evolved into came from the expertise of former webmaster Thomas Deliduka who brought it to its present stature. Recently Thomas has left CatholiCity as a full-time employee to work as a consultant and develop other sites in the northern Ohio area. The legacy he has left enables CatholiCity to go to the next plateau where they hope to offer audio/video and broadcasts. In a word CatholiCity is exCitying. On a scale of one to ten Hail Mary's in ranking this site, we follow up EWTN's perfect ten with another full decade - this for CatholiCity: TEN HAIL MARY's

Visitors in 1997