I have just spent an hour reading selected articles from ParishWorld.net. I have to be totally frank with you. I rarely, if ever do this. I invest a lot of time in the creation and upkeep of the material in the publication, but I rarely read more than what I have to in order to accomplish my mission to the end product. Today, though, I am taking it easy because I am trying to get a vicious attack of the gout to subside.
I am impressed. Like a friend of mine yesterday, I am practically left speechless. Decidedly a rarity for me. You can tell that I have since recovered from my initial lingual stricture. I am all the more in awe of the publication because I know that I was playing around in only one third of the "sandbox". I didn't open any if the specific sites maintained by individual parishes. [30 some odd]. I also am not a fan of the audio and video features offered, but I know that this is a highly prized section of ParishWorld.net.
As I sit here I am reminded of an article that I read on the Internet a few weeks ago that reminded us consumers that the vast majority of us use about 2% of the computing power that we own and control. I can't help but think of myself. 1 PC, 2 laptops, 1 Treo and one state of the art 10.1 megapixel, watch pocket sized digital camera with a 2 gigabyte chip, that takes very good video as well. As you read that last sentence, you were convinced as I am that I am one of the two-percenters.
I split my living arrangements in two, between Moreno Valley and San Diego, but that doesn't stop me from communicating and producing. I have access to the Internet no matter where I go. I spent over one month in Asia Minor and Europe in March and April and never missed a beat. I even contributed a daily blog about my stay in the Holy Land, pictures and all. You saw it all, and can still access it in ParishWorld.net.
It makes me think of what I have been going through for the past 35 or 40 years. I live in San Diego. The reaction of people who come to find out where I live is invariably, "How lucky! San Diego is sooo beautiful." As a wise man once said, "Luck is the residue of design." He was right, whoever he happens to be. I know that I made a conscious decision to live in San Diego because of my appreciation for the region. It was not luck. I admit that I did not make a conscious, seriously pre-meditated decision to come to ParishWorld.net because of a deep appreciation for something with which I had become intimately familiar. Nope! It was simply because I am an adventurous and curious person who loves the feel of change and the challenge of conquering the new. I also have to say that the publisher had plied me with wine, food and music on the night of my decision. I have never looked back. I knew then and know now that God had just tickled the whale's throat and it threw me up on the beach at ParishWorld.net It was not luck.
It is with totally unabashed pride that I say that, unlike Jonah, I am glad to be here. I can say that Wally's brain child is indeed a beauty of world class quality. I can assure you that once you have tried it and stay with it a while, you'll look forward to having it in your E-mail week after week. When did you ever have such an interesting magazine that you don't have recycle? When did you ever subscribe to a Catholic magazine that was not censored, therefore making it all the more interesting? When did you ever subscribe to a magazine that did not make you feel guilty and sloppy because you were storing it in your bathroom for toilet reading? When did you ever subscribe to a magazine that provides you with a search engine to help you find that one idea that you just have to find now, but can't remember where you saw it last?
Finally [a], when is the last time that you, Mr. Joe Catholic and Ms Jane Pew had a magazine delivered to you that brought you the Grace of God in the form of interesting news columns?
Finally [b] click on the "Choose your Parish" block and click on the Model Parish. Read it well by using the tabs. Then go tell your Pastor that this is how you would like to get the information about your parish. He, and your colleagues in Christ will love you for it.
A year or so ago, God called me to a new form of evangelization. I am happy that I had the common sense to say "yes" to this new vocation. It's a good thing too. This way I know why I didn't die young. He still had a few things for me to do. He still needs some time to clean the old man up. I don't know when He is going to decide to fire me. I just hope that when He decides that I have done all He ever wanted me to do, He'll do it
quickly, with no second thoughts. When that happens, you will have absolutely no reason to cry at my funeral.
Paul Dion, STL , ParishWorld.net Theology Editor