A successful new feature of the Sacred Space website is the sending of greeting cards – or eCards, more like. Images and spiritual messages can be combined and sent to friends via email, and this facility has proven very popular with visitors to the site, especially as cards are specially created with a liturgical theme in mind. So far, there have been cards customised for Lent, for St Patrick’s Day and for Easter. To send them to your friends, go to http://www.sacredspace.ie/ecard/cardForm.do.
Sacred Space was launched on Ash Wednesday, 1999, as “something to do for Lent”. It has been online for seven years now, and this is the 8th Lent that it has been found helpful for that purpose by people from all over the world. On April 7, 2006, the fifth centenary of the birth of St. Francis Xavier, the total number of visits registered on the counter of the home site since its launching seven years ago passed the 18 million mark.
On Ash Wednesday, 2006, the same counter registered 26,118 visitors to the site for that day, the highest number ever recorded for one day. The lowest number of visitors during Lent was on Saturday of the 5th week of Lent, when there were only 11,416 visitors. But the average of visitors for each day of the forty days between Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday has been 20,376.
Translations are currently available in 20 languages – Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian and Spanish. The Jesuit Communication Centre forwards the material to each of these sites, but the work of translation etc. is done by volunteers in the different countries that use these languages.
Most encouraging of all are the messages that come in daily to Sacred Space from all over the world. Here are some examples from the past two months:
I really appreciate the work you do, and the message you send through the Sacred Space site…… (Wagga Wagga, Australia)
When I was first introduced to Sacred Space, I was blown away. We had not even reached 3 million and now look. I have introduced so many people since, and so has the friend who introduced me, and they too have introduced others, even back to people in Ireland, who have no idea what is on their door step. Keep up the wonderful work, which enables us also to spread the “Word”…. (New Zealand)
I am a Christian Methodist. SacredSpace.ie is a wonderful site. Your writings, reflections, and prayers go beyond creed to exalt the Father, honour the Son, and connect with the Holy Ghost…. (USA)
With colleagues and students, I have been dwelling lately on the use of the internet for evil (increase in child pornography etc). Today as I joined others around the world in prayer at your site, I had to smile at the potential of the internet to join the world in prayer. Thank you for making this vision possible…. I have passed on the Sacred Space address to my family across Canada (we are very much linked by internet) and I will continue to suggest it to others. (Canada)
I thank you, Jesuit priests, for such a beautiful space where I am finding so much support. I so much desire to know God and become the person He wants me to be. The daily prayers and reflections give me hope and gratitude towards the loving God I long for. (Mexico)
I am a Church of England minister. Thank you for establishing this beacon of light and source of God’s blessing in that dark world that is cyberland. (United Kingdom)
I am working in one of the places where the tsunami in December 2004 devastated and took the lives of so many thousands – 160,000….Your Sacred Space meditation website is fantastic to access and I feel really linked in with the Christian world by it. (Aceh, Indonesia)
If readers are interested in feedback from previous months, and even all the way back to the year 2000, they will find stimulating reading at www.sacredspace.ie/feedback.
Other news: we have just received the following letter from Croatia:
After seven months of existence of our Croatian version of Sacred Space called “Prostor Duha” we can inform you that we have been very successful as a part of Sacred Space prayer family. Almost 61 000 people visited and prayed at our website; it is approximately 300 visitors per day. Taking into account our circumstances and the usage of the internet in Croatia, it is a great success.
The feedback that we receive is very positive and encouraging, and we also respond to e-mails from our visitors. We had a number of interviews on different radio stations about our prayer website and the news about website appeared in different newspapers as well as on national television. And we still get invitations to promote prayer website. Our next step will be publishing of different promotional materials – cards and posters to inform people better.
We are quite happy about all of it and, again, it is very encouraging for us to carry on with this kind of apostolate and usage of modern ways of evangelisation.
Best wishes and happy Easter to all!
Greeting from Croatia
Fr. Miroslav Cadek SJ and Tvrtko Barun SJ (authors)