We Are All in This Together!

 “I love it! What a great look!”

“The font is hard to see.”

“It’s clean and fresh and easy to navigate.”

“I just hate changes!”

“Hooray! The viewer comments are back!”

“It’s too plain.

“It looks secular instead of Catholic.”

“Why did you redesign the site?”

These are a few of the reactions that our newly-designed website received from readers.  We are gratified that the vast majority of people seem pleased with the new design — but we ARE listening to those of you who aren’t!  We agree that we should make it more distinctively Catholic.  We have already made it easier to read.  But it’s finally launched, and we’re ecstatic!

As to why we did it — that’s the most interesting part.  We did it because our old platform was limiting us in delivering the main thing we work for around here — and the main thing you come to Catholic Exchange for — the very best in Catholic content on the Internet.  We do what we do with the goal of strengthening people in their Catholic faith — and time after time we hear from readers that the material we present has done just that. 

In addition, we never forget our tagline: It’s not just “Your Faith” — it’s “Your Life and Your World,” too. We are a unique daily resource for the issues that people are talking about, delivered through a portal that gives the busy Catholic reader daily faith essentials smack in the center of our front page.

For those of you have been missing your CE email subscriptions to Mark Shea’s Word of Encouragement, the Daily Digest, or the Homily of the Day, here’s good news!  All of our subscription services will be back by next week.  If you have never signed up for one of these free popular newsletters, click here to sign up now.

Explosive New Content 

052008_lead_new.jpgAre you wa-a-ay more busy than you ever thought you would be?  Yeah, so are we.

So given the excessive demands of modern life, how can we be the very best stewards of the time and talents God has given us?  What can integrate all the different roles we play?

Coming in mid-June, our new “Integrated Life” channel will address these very issues — the everyday, very practical, concerns of Catholics who want the nuts-and-bolts of living the faith.

This is just one of the exciting new areas of the site that we will be opening up within the next few weeks.

Bioethics is the arena where the ferocious battle for life — and the very future of humanity — is being waged right now.  Unfortunately the technical complexities of the issues often leave lay people befuddled.  Media obfuscation is the order of the day with intentionally confusing terminology:

  • Was Terry Schiavo on “life support?”
  • Is there something called “therapeutic cloning” that is not “reproductive cloning?”
  • Does pregnancy begin at implantation?  Is a “brain dead” person dead?

Truly, sorting this out can be literally a matter of life and death.  To help you do just that, a group of Dominican priest/professors will be opening a new, easy-to-understand “Bioethics” channel on Catholic Exchange.  Look for their articles to be featured in our lead space in the coming weeks.

Speaking of sorting things out, could anything be more confusing in our modern world than relationships between the sexes?  The world would have us believe — and follow through with actions to demonstrate — that male and female are endlessly elastic categories to define as you will or change at a whim.  An uprooted and fruitless generation thrashes in the demonic storm of constant turmoil without a secure identity to hold on to.

Calm and steady, with a tender love for mankind rooted in the depth of understanding of what the human person is, the Catholic Church recalls men and women to their senses: their sense of self and the sense of complementarity between the sexes.  The Church offers a soil of truth in which the human person can be rooted — stable, sane, secure, and fruitful!

Her guidance on these matters has been most fully and most recently expressed in a treasure called “The Theology of the Body,” left to us and generations to come by Pope John Paul II.  As the first generation to unpack — and start to live — this teaching, we already see lives and marriages and families transformed.  And we are only scratching the surface!

Go deeper with us into the riches of this wisdom, starting in June, when we unveil a new channel devoted to the “Theology of the Body.”  A dozen leading Theology of the Body writers, lay and religious, will be joining together to give us their insights.  Regardless of your age or station in life, there will be something for you in our much anticipated Theology of the Body channel.

Persevering through Dark Times

These new content features have required months of preparation and been hampered by technical problems that have been frustrating to us and aggravating to our viewers.  We felt our CE readers deserved better and so we did not want to ask you for financial help while our site was not working properly.

We are very relieved to finally be able to reward your loyalty by presenting you with a new site and unveiling new content over the next few weeks.  But while we have been working around the clock to bring our once great site back up to its former glory — and better — the funds have dried up.  The management staff of CE has not been paid in many months and recently members of the editorial staff have voluntarily “fasted” their own salaries so CE could apply the funds to our technical needs.  Why?  Because we know that this is a long term development project and there is no way we will let it be stopped in the middle.  We just have too many good things in the works for you — and we have a fight to carry on!

When this apostolate started, we never dreamed that so-called “gay marriage” would be foisted upon the people of this county by the same pernicious judicial activism that gave us Roe v. Wade.  The actions of the California Supreme Court last week remind us that the enemy of all that is holy is relentless.  We cannot stop defending the truth, because he is not going to stop attacking it — and precious souls are at stake.

So, friends, we turn to you.  Please, today, show us that you want CE to continue to be a great online Catholic presence and resource.  Please be generous.  No donation is too small — and none is too large, either.  And we need the help now.  Go here to choose a way to donate.  Or click here to give securely online.

Please Assist Us in Our Comeback!

Due to the extreme urgency, we are asking that every reader today give something.  If every one of you would give today — and pledge to give monthly — five, ten or twenty dollars, CE could return to stable financial footing.  Pledges of $50, $75, or $100 would allow us to do some long-range budgeting and development planning — and pay our hard-working staff.

But we need some folks who have the resources to step forward and help us with large one-time booster donations as well.  If you are in a position to give $300… $500… $1000… $5000 or even more, please know that your donation will be going to maintain and expand the very finest Catholic resource online — and to get us over one of the most difficult times this apostolate has been through.  If you can, please give us both a one-time booster gift and pledge a smaller monthly amount.  You can do both — it takes just a minute! — by clicking here now.

During other appeals and campaigns we have offered premiums in the form of books or DVD’s for your generous contributions.  Friends, honestly, we can’t afford any premiums this time.  CE has been running for months now off the personal resources of the staff.  Won’t you come alongside us now and help us take the battle to the enemy?

Thank you and God bless you.

The CE Editors

P.S.  We want to assure you that your tax-deductible donation will reach us — our donations are securely processed by Acceptiva, a company with years of experience in processing online donations for hundreds of non-profits — Catholic, Protestant, and secular.  They are completely trustworthy.  And so are we — our eight-year track record as a leading Catholic presence online speaks for itself.  We know you are anxious to get to all the rest of the articles on our site today — but please click here now before you forget. We need the help of every reader today!

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  • dennisofraleigh

    Hats off to the CE Editors for the outstanding “extreme makeover” the Catholic Exchange website has undergone. I didn’t realize CE has been around eight years already. I like the new look and feel. I also like the fact that CE’s readership can put their two cents in. (Though I do miss the ability to comment using italics and emoticons, but hey, I’m grateful for the opportunity to comment at all!) May God richly bless the hard work that has gone in to making CE a great Catholic website!

  • Well, I have just put you guys on the top of my blegroll, with enlarged and bold type. It’s all I have to offer at the moment.

  • johnny o

    CE, thank you for being the first place I go on my computer daily…along with a fresh hot cup of coffee. What a great way to start my day…thinking of Jesus, eh?

  • waters edge

    Catholic Exchange is my homepage and I’ll keep it as such, but your new look is on the sterile side. Any way you can bring a little Catholic iconography into the design?

  • Doria2

    It takes a while to get used to a new site. I get to the point where I know it like the back of my hand. When it changes, I usually do not take the time to relearn it. It has taken me three visits just to learn how to leave this comment. I just don’t have the time for relearning. I may be back when I have more time. I just get disgusted everytime a site I like does this. See ya around – AndyP/Doria2 Yonkers, NY

  • mkochan

    Like the article said, we are working on this. I wish every person who had a request for changes understood what graphic artists and website technicians charged. Right now we are concentrating on functional issues, like getting the subscriptions running and the search engine installed.

    It is very easy to make suggestions for improvements — I have a list of my own — but it is quite another thing to come up with the money to pay for them.

  • Peggy C

    I know how much effort it takes to create an updated site -especially the part about pleasing everyone. Since I haven’t spent adequate time actually checking out all the new options and the intuitive paths available for easy perusing, I will comment only on the look and feel. I think the Home page really gives a lot of overview information to lead the viewer aroungd the web-site. However, The site has lost its wonderful religious and liturgical look! Please can we have an appropriate daily piece of artwork that let’s us know we are sonewhere “special”? I feel as if I’m looking at a secular webpage.

  • mkochan

    Once again, yes. It is in the plan to add more graphics.

  • novusordoseclorum

    I like it a lot. The old site was getting old and there were obvious shortcomings which could only be fixed by a complete redesign.

    The article comments especially are a lot cleaner and easier to read.

  • The new site looks good. I would like to see images used more ,like the old site had. One of the best aspects of the Catholic faith is its symbols and art.

  • novusordoseclorum

    I actually like the lack of images. It makes it less distracting and easier to see the content.