e-mail us

Inside NCR

Best vacation parishes; new doings @ NCR

In the June 19 issue, NCR editor-at-large Arthur Jones wrote about “vacation friendly” parishes around the country: churches on or off the beaten track where the pilgrim is welcomed and the liturgy special. Aware that his list was but the tip of a liturgical iceberg, Jones solicited further examples. A handful of readers responded, and their recommendations will soon get an airing. But surely there must be others who know a special place where weekend liturgies leave big impressions. Write to Arthur Jones, NCR, 2060 National Press Building, Washington DC 20045; describe what’s special about the parish of your choice, and if possible give the parish phone number, time of Masses and any tantalizing special features.

A momentous occasion is upon us. NCR, as practically the whole cyberworld knows, has been on the Web for some time. Surfers may already have noticed that the entire issue (except wire stories and such) of July 31 was on the Web, as this issue of Aug. 14 is. After that, beginning with the issue of Aug. 28, only subscribers will have unlimited access to our Web site. In a perfect world, we would throw the site open to all, but publications are increasingly finding they can’t afford to do this.

What to do now? If you are a subscriber, go to the NCR website, click on NCR Online and follow instructions. NCR’s Webmeister Pierre Jorgensen has done a spectacular job of preparing the site and preparing us for this event. When asked if there were other ways of signing up, he responded, “If they can’t go to the site, then they’re not yet ready for access anyway.” In other words, it’s easy for those who know even a little bit about the Internet. Jorgensen is aware that some people are nervous about fishing for connections on the Web, so he promises to be at the other end (here) to help subscribers with the process.

It’s a big bonus for subscribers, at no extra cost. And a bigger bonus for readers abroad, especially those who receive their NCR by surface mail. They will be able to read it online weeks if not months earlier than before.

To give a little of the game away: When readers follow the aforementioned instructions, they will be given a user ID and a password. Bureaucracy has been streamlined, so you will have access within one working day.

Ellen Conroy, by happenstance, found that she was proud possessor of the very first ID number, which caused her to E-mail Jorgensen: “As yesterday wore on, I began to realize how extraordinary a privilege it was to be given ncr1 as my user ID. ... I realized how many important people would have really been gratified to have ncr1, and then I began to realize what a gift you had given me.”

Rather, I’d say, Conroy is a gift to NCR.

We ask readers to begin every conversation from now to Christmas with the words, “Have you seen NCR on the Web?”

And do stand by for another momentous occasion, probably in September -- the launching of National Catholic Reporter’s new design. We’re so excited, further words fail us at this time.

We continue to receive readers’ letters commenting enthusiastically on Tom Fox’s Asian synod coverage. Some have asked that we compile his reports into a pamphlet. We have no plans to do this. However, NCR’s Asian synod coverage, including some reflections Fox wrote for our Web site, are all available at the NCR Web site. Or go directly to the synod coverage at: http://www.natcath.com/NCR_Online/archives/synod/

-- Michael Farrell

National Catholic Reporter, August 14, 1998