How Are We Doing?

Eight months since the last blog post. That’s a long time – way too long. For our parish, it’s been a time for new experiences of worship, meetings and activities together as members of one parish instead of our original 6 parishes. We’ve been together through our first Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter. How are we doing? Next month marks the 1st anniversary of the closing of the old parishes and the begining of our life together as Triumph of the Cross Parish. And we’ll mark the 1st anniversary of Fr. Thomas Nau moving to Steubenville to serve as our Pastor. There’s been so much change in the past year. How are we doing?

As I was getting ready to write this post, I thought I’d just be sharing about the Triumph of the Cross Parish website
(www.triumphofthecross.org) and some of the things we’ve tried to start on the site to help members of the parish know more about our activities and remember some of the things we’ve shared – our liturgies, our first parish social (the “January Thaw” which was, ironically, postponed ’til February because of icy winter weather), and our Parish Mission with Fr. Tom Forrest. We’ve taken and posted pictures on the Parish website, as well as audio recordings of all of Fr. Forrest’s Parish Mission talks, and recordings of the Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil homilies given at Holy Name Cathedral by Bishop Conlon and Fr. Mark Moore. There are even a couple of videos from the February Thaw social. And every week, of course, you’ll find the latest Parish Bulletin posted online, along with archives of the previous bulletins. I usually read and post the new bulletin file before the weekend, so when I pick up and read my printed bulletin after Mass on Sunday, it seems like it’s “old news.”

The Triumph of the Cross website is also the place you’ll find information and forms for Sacramental preparation as well as the Catechetical programs for our parish and others in the city of Steubenville. This week several forms are being reviewed and revised, and I’ll have them online soon after they’re approved. We’re trying to not only have the parish website be an informative site for you, but one that can help each of us connect with the parish and with one another more than we do already.

The steps we’ve taken are small ones, and we hope to have a “new, improved” website serving the people of Triumph of the Cross
Parish that will offer much more. When, I don’t know. Like many parishoners, I’m working on the site as a volunteer, glad to have
the opportunity to share what knowledge I have of websites with my Church. Website dreams and wishes are more plentiful to me than time to implement them. We’ll see what develops as time marches on.

The 43rd World Communications Day was just celebrated by the Catholic Church in many places around the world. The U.S. Catholic
Communications Campaign occurred a couple of weeks ago. As I write this, Catholic communications professionals are meeting at their annual convention, reflecting on Catholic Church communications today and in the future. (I’ve frequently participated in this conference, but am happy to stay home to celebrate our youngest son’s graduation from Catholic Central High School.) Pope Benedict XVI’s message for the 2009 World Communications Day is spot on for today’s culture: “New Technologies, New Relationships. Promoting a Culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship” (available through this link to the Vatican’s website). I was planning to offer some thoughts about the Pope’s message, but I’ll let that wait for another post.

When I asked “How are we doing?” at the beginning of this post, I thought it was worth reflecting on as a parish and as individual members of the parish. Now I’d like to ask the question as an invitation for you to give us feedback about the parish website and our use of the Internet as a parish. How are we doing? And more importantly, How can we serve you through these resources?

I’d like to hear your thoughts. Please email me at web@totcmail.org. Thanks.

Jim Coyle
Parish Webmaster
You can follow me on Twitter: @iJimCoyle

(By the way, I consider “webmaster” an ironic term since there are so many rules and picky programming procedures that MUST be followed to do things on the web. In my opinion, “web servant” is more accurate.)

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