Katolinen.net is a bit more than a month old in its present incarnation, i.e. as a site run by volunteers - as a site run by regular Catholics for regular Catholics. But what does that mean? And what does it mean for you?
At the beginning of October we took over the Katolinen.net site from the Diocese of Helsinki. This used to be the official site of the Catholic Church in Finland, but once the official site moved to Katolinen.fi, the .net domain became available for another kind of Catholic web presence.
'Is the point of the Katolinen.net site to focus on the Catholic Diocese in Finland, on Catholics in Finland and future Catholics as well as what happens in Finland, in three languages? Or is your purpose to present the voice of the global Catholic Church for Finns? I'm not quite clear what your mission is.'
Yes, our primary aim is to be a site for Catholics in Finland, providing information about what is going on in all seven parishes as well as on the Diocesan level. No, we do not intend to present the view of the Catholic Church to 'Finns in general', i.e. non-Catholic Finns. It is quite likely that we will offer a glimpse into Catholicism for non-Catholics, but that is not why we volunteer to run a website in three languages.
We volunteer because it's our Church. Because we are the Church.
And so are you, if you are Catholic. In fact, so are you, if you are a Christian. Because Jesus Christ founded one Church. And we are it. And we are not the Church in a vacuum. We are the Church together. And that means we need to know what the rest of the Church is doing. So we need to cross parish boundaries and diocesan boundaries - which in Finland's case means national boundaries as well, but that's just fine, because Catholic means Universal: it's the same Church everywhere.
And that is why we're determined to run this site in three languages: the two national languages of Finland and English, to reach as many Catholics in Finland as possible with reasonable effort. But we are planning to provide basic information about the Catholic Church in Finland in a number of other languages as well, so if you are fluent in some other language, you can get involved too.
Because that is one of the things with a volunteer-run site: it takes volunteers to run it. So do get in touch, tell us what you can contribute to this site, be it a review of a Catholic book you've read or a photo of your grandmother receiving the anointing of the sick before going in for a hip replacement (but make sure granny is OK with your sharing the photo with us first!) or information about the next bazaar in the parish hall, first-communion classes in Polish or a film with a Catholic angle to it...
Get in touch! You can reach us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we can make this a truly useful site!
PS The Pope just said basically the same thing: