By Donis Tracy Pilot Correspondent Posted: 3/20/2009
Just over nine months ago, the Archdiocese of Boston relocated to a more welcoming and efficient home in its Braintree Pastoral Center. Earlier this week, the archdiocese moved its on-line presence to a new home which it hopes the people of Boston will find equally inviting.
On March 17, the Archdiocese of Boston launched its new web site, www.BostonCatholic.org.
“It is appropriate that we launch the site on the Feast of St. Patrick, patron saint of the archdiocese. Inspired by his commitment to preach the Gospel message we offer this new means of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ and the ministry of the Catholic Church to the faithful of the archdiocese and the wider community,” said Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley
The site, “is the product of a collaborative effort that involved many talented and dedicated individuals who understand the important role of web communications in furthering the mission of the Church,” he added.
According to Pilot editor Antonio Enrique, who served as lead coordinator for the redesign effort, the new web site will incorporate all of the information found on the archdiocese’s previous web site, www.rcab.org, but in a more streamlined and easy to use format.
In addition, BostonCatholic.org will also have a number of new features, including a video welcome message from Cardinal Seán, information on the Church and expanded multimedia content.
Each office, service and ministry has dedicated space on the site. In some cases, BostonCatholic.org serves as the main site for an office; in other cases, it provides basic information and the link to a ministry’s main web site.
“What we have tried to do is develop a web site that is both user-friendly and filled with information,” Enrique said. “I believe that a person will be able to find anything they need to know, or are looking for, on this new site.”
According to Enrique, the site, designed by the South Boston web-design firm Verndale, can be expanded to meet the future needs of the archdiocese as well.
“The possibilities are practically unlimited,” he added.
Beyond being a comprehensive reference source, the new web site also strives to be a tool for evangelization.
BostonCatholic.org contains a section, “Being Catholic,” which explains Catholic teachings and doctrines.
“This section is the equivalent of a 100-page book, and we hope that it will help a variety of individuals, regardless of their involvement in the Church, by giving a better understanding of the Catholic faith,” Enrique said.
“This initiative represents a move of the archdiocese’s virtual headquarters to a new site that is modern and better suited to sharing the story of the Church. We view this as an important resource for everyone across the Archdiocese of Boston who wants to learn more about our Catholic faith,” explained Scot Landry, Archdiocesan Secretary for Institutional Advancement.
Landry praised the work done by Deacon Charlie Cornell, a web-based technology expert and a deacon at the Church of St. Isidore in Stow, who for years dedicated himself to the building and upkeep of the previous website.
“Our previous web site focused on news and contact information for our offices, parishes, schools and agencies. The new web site includes this information in a visually appealing way and with streamlined navigation, but it also provides material about what is truly important about our Catholic Faith,” Landry continued.
“In designing BostonCatholic.org, we researched all the 195 diocesan and archdiocesan web sites in the United States,” Landry continued. “We sought to imitate and improve upon the best practices to give Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston the best web site in the country.”