Posts Tagged ‘ls05’

Latest Space #05

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

A WORD FROM GERRY BOURKE, SJ, EDITOR
Gerry, Bourke, a team member
A year has passed since in late November of last year we sent out the first issue of LATEST SPACE. Our aim was to share with those who had corresponded with us the developments that had taken place in SACRED SPACE since the site was launched in Lent of 1999.Great things continue to happen as God uses our site to bring enlightenment, peace and joy to His faithful people. We will record some of the latest “glad tidings” in this issue.

A MESSAGE FROM ALAN MCGUCKIAN, SJ. DIRECTOR

Alan McGuckian, Director

There are many joys associated with Sacred Space. One of the very best during this past year has been to realise how many people work really hard to spread the word and let others know about it. For example, Joyce and Barry in Dublin have developed the practise of carrying a supply of Sacred Space ‘business cards’, which include the URL. They let their friends, colleagues, and everybody that attends Sunday Mass with them, know about the treasure that is Sacred Space. Joyce has even been in to visit some local schools.

If you would like to have a supply of the business cards, just go to the link for “posters and cards“, and print a page or more of the cards . You might think of inserting one with your Christmas Cards!!

Christmas Appeal.

As you can imagine, keeping Sacred Space going and planning for a strong and healthy future is very demanding in terms of time, energy and money. I am very grateful to those who have supported us financially during the past year. However, as yet we have not come close to covering our costs. So I need to make a very frank appeal to everyone who shares in Sacred Space to make a gift this Christmas, a gesture of solidarity with this very important work. We will welcome and appreciate your donation, whatever you can manage.

Please respond by sending your cheque, payable to “Sacred Space”, to: Jesuit Communication Centre, 36 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. Or, to make a donation with your credit card, go to the “Support Sacred Space” link at the end of the site and follow the instructions.

GREETINGS FROM JAE-HONG CHEON, WEBMASTER

Jae-Hong Cheon, a team member

About 8 months have passed since I came to Ireland. I have found English more difficult than I had thought. I have decided to visit my home in Seoul during the Christmas holidays. In my country at the end of year, people have lots of parties with their friends, colleagues and family to bid farewell to the year that is ending and to welcome the New Year. So I look forward to meeting my family and friends during the holidays, and I will be able to talk about my life in Dublin, especially my wonderful experience with Sacred Space. But until heading off, I may be very busy because I have many things to finish for Sacred Space. Especially, I will open the Sacred Space for PDA as soon as possible. And I would like to say to all of you, “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”

THE LATEST FROM SACRED SPACE

After we had sent out LATEST SPACE #4, we decided to put it up online and have a link to it, and the previous issues, next to the link to FEEDBACK. So those who visit the site for the first time can now read “the story of Sacred Space”. We were very happy to learn that some of you, after receiving Latest Space, forwarded it to those friends that you thought would be interested.

Another very consoling development is the appeal that Sacred Space continues to have worldwide. How often we receive letters saying that although the writers themselves can handle the English language, many of the people of their country cannot. So would it be possible to put up a version in their native language? With our limited resources, all we can do is assure them that we are willing to make the English version available to translators who, with help from others, can have it up for the day specified. This has been an encouragement to individuals and groups to volunteer, and many have succeeded in producing Sacred Space in 14 different languages. Others, too, are working in other languages to be online in the near future.

Sacred Space in Latvian (from a letter to the Editor)

I am Oskars Mikazans S.J. I initiated Sacred Space in the Latvian language. I have worked in collaboration with a Lithuanian Jesuit, Virgilijus Saulius S.J., who puts up the Lithuanian version. I take care of the content of the Web Pages. He takes care of technical support. Because I am studying philosophy in Munich, I don’t have much time to work with Sacred Space. So, I am thankful for the help of another Latvian scholastic, Edgars Sprugis SJ, who is studying philosophy in Dublin.

As soon as the Latvian version of Sacred Space started, we had an advertising campaign in several Latvian portal sites, and we spread the word in local Church newspapers, but we didn’t get many supporters. The fact that there is only a small number of Internet users in Latvia could explain that. Our aim has always been to give a spiritual impulse to people who work directly or indirectly with computers. Sacred Space in Latvian has developed into a place for prayer of approximately 10-20 people, who visit the site mostly during the working day. They form, in a certain sense, a Latvian “prayer group on the Internet”.

Sacred Space in French
Bertrand De Beaudoin and Stephanie Bélanger in Quebec, Canada, have been our collaborators on the French version of Sacred Space. Bertrand was the first one, as far as we know, to translate LATEST SPACE into the language of his site. That was Latest Space #4. He called it “Les dernières nouvelles d’Un Moment Sacre #1. He added some feedback and statistics from his own French visitors, and he promises to put the latest statistics that he can find into his upcoming French version of LATEST SPACE #5 !

Other Versions “in the Pipeline”

We had a visit from our Maltese collaborator early in December. He hopes to have the Maltese version up and running by mid-January, or, at the latest, for the month of February. We heard from Germany that the Jesuit who was scheduled to work on a German translation, took seriously ill. This held up the promised German version. However we have been told that the work will “remain under the direction of the German Jesuit online-team”, and that it should be available early in the new year. We have had a number of kind offers of help with the German translation. The Czech version is already online, and the Slovak version will not be too far behind. As for the Chinese version, we are still waiting for word from “our man in Hong Kong”.

A “Miracle” in Sacred Space (Feedback)

When I first started using Sacred Space, about two years ago, the “counter” was reaching towards a million–and between today and yesterday, it’s changed over to 5 million! What a miracle, and one we can see, with our own eyes!

In the beginning, I sent it on to all my children, and some I expected might take a chance. But the one I least expected to use it, did, and faithfully so. He was an alcoholic, and was wandering further from God, and risking his marriage and children. Now he is active in his parish, in outreach. He has sought professional help to defeat his own “demon”.

Sacred Space, and the grace available through your call to prayer has provided the opportunity for a “miracle”. And The Holy Spirit, I am sure, could tell us of many more all over the world as a result of the “opening” of eyes that could not see, and ears that chose not to hear.U.S.A.

Parked Cars and Statistics (Feedback)

When I drive into our parish parking lot for weekday morning Mass and see a good number of cars, I feel glad that we have such a good God, Who is here for us, and touches and encourages so many of us. Before I attended weekday Mass with any frequency, I thought that attending Sunday was “pretty good”. Then as I saw the weekday parking lot with cars I realized that many were finding something or feeling something differently than I. Their cars in the parking lot were witnesses to me.

I like to see the numbers that you post – it delights me to see how good God is to be touching and encouraging so many to come to know, love and serve him through this particular web site. I also feel that I have had a tendency to view (incorrectly) my spiritual life as private – isolated and focused on my individuality. The numbers remind me that we, though many, are one Body. I imagine us benefiting from each other as together we build up community – the Body of Christ.

Finally, as a mother of six children and a wife of a husband who returned to the sacraments (after thirty years away from them) this summer I find it fun to counter their good humoured teasing comments, “People don’t pray if they don’t have to./ On Sacred Space again? You are probably their only user./ You are odd – who else has nothing better to do than check into Sacred Space?” Then I tell them the latest number – they shrug their shoulders and smile. – British Columbia, Canada

Statistics Again!

The appropriateness of quoting statistics in the context of prayer was raised in our last issue. The overwhelming response was in favour of giving some indication of the numbers that continue to visit the site. In case you haven’t noticed, we have recently passed the 5 million mark! This, of course, is the number of “visits” that have been made, and, thank God, most of our visitors return again and again. Some even return twice on the same day. The following diagram gives the most recent figures. Note how the numbers drop on the weekend!

Statistics Graph

A Smaller Sacred Space

We have frequently received requests for a format of Sacred Space that would make it easier to use with hand-held computers. Jae-Hong is working on that at the moment. Perhaps by the time you receive this newsletter, you will be able to see the test pages of Sacred Space for a PDA on your hand-held computer with the help of a service, such as AvantGo.

Because there are many kind of PDAs, and the test could not be done on all of those (actually, Jae-Hong is only working with a Palm V emulator), we need feedback as to how it looks on your machine so as to improve it. We would also be very happy to receive any other request or idea for the PDA site. Just write to Jae-Hong at [email protected].

A Larger Picture on the Index Page
Some people asked to have the picture on the index page enlarged. So we made a link-button, which enlarges the picture. Jae-Hong, personally, doesn’t like it because it affects the quality of the picture, which was originally in a small size. Anyhow, now you can make the choice yourself.

A POEM ON SACRED SPACE

Each day when work is done,
the call comes, hushed, insistent,
a breath of memory
that urges me to switch on.

My choice then to connect –
wait while the computer whirrs
into life, the bright screen
mapped out with shuttered icons;

link with the world wide web,
go through the sunlit portal,
hold still in the tall space
where water flows over stone;

select with the bright white
cursor that swoops like a bird
on a backdrop of sky
where each cloud is a window;

look through to the measured
words that lead me step by step
to a considered pause,
while the cathode ray dances;

click with the mouse to move
on in this vast cathedral
where thousands pray with me,
our thoughts like incense rising.

– composed and submitted by Helen M Overell, United Kingdom

THE LATEST FROM “CATHOLIC IRELAND”

We are indebted to our sister site, www.catholicireland.net , for the ADVENT CALENDAR, which has been available on Sacred Space for the season of Advent. It is especially suitable for children, but it may also be used profitably by adults. Catholic Ireland has another link on its front page which may be of interest to users of Sacred Space. It is called CRED, which stands for Cathechetical Reflection for Each Day, and, of course, reminds us of the Latin word credo (I believe), and the Creed, our profession of faith.

The idea for this project came to Fr. Paddy Devitt, the author, when he heard about the finding of a dead body in a suitcase in the Grand Canal – less than a mile from where he lives in Dublin, Ireland. He reflected in prayer and noted his thoughts. He continues to do this each day of the year in the context of the teaching of the Church. “Readers may be encouraged to do likewise”, he says, “by listening to God in their own lives.” His reflections are archived each day, so that they may be found any time under different headings.

A CHRISTMAS “CARD” FROM THE SACRED SPACE TEAM

With best wishes from the Sacred Space team

Jesuit Communication Centre, 36 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2, Ireland


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