So the Big Family Secret is out today. The website my family has been working on for over 4 years launched this morning, after 4 long years of design, redesign, inspiration, brainpower, hope, prayer, ambition, and often grueling work for many link submitters…
Our Catholic Neighborhood is meant to be a Catholic networking, education, parish and school reference, and all-around Catholic internet hub for Catholics to explore and join. We are hoping that as things progress, it will be a place where Catholics can get accustomed to coming when seeking information, mass times, or even employment or services and products.
My Uncle Dan of Walla Walla, Washington is the mastermind of the entire project, but that isn’t to say he could have done it without his immediate family helping and supporting him through every step and stumble. Uncle Dan saw the support, cohesion, and community offered in churches like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and thought it would be a great thing to have an online place that could give some form to those attributes more fully within Catholicism, locally and nationally. He also thought it would be nice to have a hub on the internet that could archive Catholic sites of reference, Catholic blogs (REAL Catholic blogs – mine didn’t make the cut, of course), Charity sites, and a myriad of other informative web locations.
I will let the launch letter being sent out to each of the parishes and many interested parties (written by my cousin Kevin – probably named after me) fill in the image of what this website is and what we want it to be:
My large, extended Catholic family has been developing and has now launched a dynamic, all-encompassing Catholic website and we are sharing it with active Catholics like you first. The site is located at www.ourcatholicneighborhood.com.
The website is divided into four areas. The Our Catholic Faith and Our Global Catholic Church areas already contain over a thousand links to Catholic websites created by others about lots and lots of Catholic topics. These areas of the OCN website will continue to grow as Catholic users suggest more and more links about the Catholic Church.
In the Our Local Catholic Church area we have created OCN webpages for each of the approximately 20,000 parishes, 7,500 Catholic schools and several thousand other Catholic entities in the USA, including all Catholic hospitals, universities, and many charity offices.
Priests can use their parish’s OCN webpage to complement the parish bulletin and more fully communicate with parishioners. Parishioners can use the OCN website to obtain information about their parish and other parishes and can create OCN webpages for Catholic groups within their parish to enhance their ministries and communicate their group’s news with members and fellow parishioners.
I invite you to explore all areas of the OCN website for a few minutes. I think you will like what you see.
. . .
Within each parish’s OCN webpage we have created a very tastefully presented section entitled Catholics in the Workplace. This section is intended to facilitate commerce among Catholics by creating a means for Catholics to find out what their fellow parishioners do for a living. We are enabling you, as a Catholic (insert business title here, ex. Doctor, attorney, real estate agent, etc), to create a Catholics in the Workplace webpage about you and your employer, linked to your parish, to explain to your fellow parishioners and other Catholics in your community how you can serve them through your work. A Catholics in the Workplace webpage is vibrant and informative. You can post a picture of yourself, automatically create a Google map of your business location, provide business hours, contact information and a link to your employer’s website. You can write as much or as little as you desire, in narrative fashion, about you, your family, your involvement in the Church and what you do for a living. Additionally, the means is provided for viewers to email you directly through your OCN webpage and you willbe able to see which emails have come to you via your Catholics in the Workplace webpage. In addition, you can edit and add to your Catholics in the Workplace webpage as often as you desire.
Your Catholics in the Workplace webpage will function as a great complement to your bulletin advertisement because it will allow you to expand on who you are and what you do. Your bulletin advertisement can function as a great way to drive your Catholic neighbors to your Catholics in the Workplace page where viewers can learn more about who you are and what you do. It does cost a small annual fee, to keep the website ad-free and running effectively . . . You can add your Catholics in the Workplace page in as many parishes as you desire . . .
Please check out the Our Catholic Neighborhood website today. For a more complete explanation of what Our Catholic Neighborhood is all about, visit www.ourcatholicneighborhood.com/about. [I am hijacking this part and putting myself in…] Also, please view my Catholics in the Workplace page in Holy Family Parish (in Kirkland, WA, under “Legal Services” – or at St. Jude’s in Redmond, WA, St. Mary’s in Portland, OR, St. Patrick’s in Pasco, WA, or St. Al’s in Spokane, WA) to see what a completed Catholics in the Workplace webpage looks like. Find my Catholics in the Workplace page at http://www.ourcatholicneighborhood.com/ocn?_k=QCbGiVP1.
A little more info on the four main links:
“Our Global Catholic Neighborhood” deals with the structure and institution of the Church. “Our Catholic Faith” is the collection of websites or Catholic ‘hub’ online, with information of all shapes and sizes. Those two links are pretty simple and self-explanatory.