.- The woman behind the much-renowned Vatican website is working on a new faith-based community site, which will be launched this fall and aim to bring together Catholics from around the world.
Sr. Judith Zoebelein is the editorial director of the Internet Office of the Holy See. In 1995, she and a handful of colleagues approached Pope John Paul II about launching a Vatican website. The Pope gave his approval.
According to an article in the May 8th issue of Business Week, what began as a Web page of the Pope’s 1995 Christmas message has since become one of the most expansive and visited websites. The current Vatican site typically gets about one million visitors per month.
Now Sr. Zoebelein is creating a second Vatican website aimed at bringing together the faithful. There will be personal news updates, e-learning programs, and areas set aside for families, young people, and parishes.
"People will be able to find each other and work together online, and then go back and use what they have learned or done in their own communities," Sr. Zoebelein told Business Week.
Sr. Zoebelein said she believes the Net is the ultimate way to reach millions of people and to connect them with God.
The 57-year-old American nun grew up in a middle-class household in the Hamptons on Long Island. A member of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, Sr. Zoebelein worked with social service agencies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
According to Business Week, she took an interest in computers and set up computer networks in relief agency offices around the world. She was called to the Vatican in 1991 to help out with its computer systems until the Internet site was developed.