CatholiChat was born out of necessity. In 1999, at the height of the Jubilee 2000 celebration in the Catholic Church, Middy and myself were hosts for MSN in the old #Catholic chat room. Back then MSN was threatening to close the Catholic room and several other denominations for economic reasons. (They have since changed to user created format.) And so, at the request of several of the regulars, e-Catholic2000.com and the CatholiChat network were born on December 19th, 1999.
From the outset, the website and chat network have been dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity and Our Blessed Mother. Our sole motivation was and continues to be instruments to assist others to come closer to Jesus. And indeed, countless events in our history have revealed "good fruits" time and again.
CatholiChat has undergone a few transformations in its 10 year history. We started out as an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) chat network, using irc chat software. Through the first several years, it became increasingly apparent that we were not reaching many Catholics because of the fairly complex irc commands needed to use the chat software. Most people wanted to chat from an easy to use web based chat client. For a few years we operated using a combination of IRC and providing a web based interface.
After careful consideration, the year 2002 saw us shed our Irc chat software and we made the move to a java based web chat client. This chat software has proven to be much more secure, stable, accessible by everyone, and easy to use. This move has proven to be providential. CatholiChat has flourished ever since.
We have been blessed throughout all the years with a terrific staff of people for both the website and chat network:
Middy who still won't tell us her age, has been my capable and faithful Assistant Administrator since the beginning. Her wisdom and good judgement are top notch. She is always providing helpful suggestions and ideas, and generally helping to insure the smooth operation of the website and chat network in numerous ways.
Christina came to chat with us in 2001 and became a regular and was soon promoted to Chat Manager. In 2002 she was again promoted to Communications Director for E-Cath. Her proven organizational skills, the countless hours she has spent, and her creative gifts have been invaluable to our growth and success.
Vickie, who also has been with us since the beginning, (since our MSN days) has been our gifted writer and RCIA Director for most of our history. The information on her RCIA web pages are in constant demand. She is currently publishing a book on the RCIA Process.
Deacon Anthony came to us in 2002 and since 2004 has been our "Deacon-in-Residence", answering numerous faith questions, and selflessly is always ready to assist anyone who asks.
Sister Elizabeth SDS also came to us in 2002 and was soon asked to become our Vocations Director and graciously accepted. She has provided a wealth of information on Vocations and has assisted many in the discernment process.
Our Hosting Staff It goes without saying that this group (both past and present) are unselfish, helpful, dedicated and deeply spiritual people, without whom, the chatroom simply wouldn't exist. You won't find a greater or friendlier bunch of colleagues to work with anywheres. They have put in countless hours, have lent a soothing ear when we hurt, prayed with us for our intentions, helped us when we have questions, have tried to challenge us to grow deeper in our Faith and simply have "been there" for everyone.
Both the chat network and the website have grown steadily in size and popularity throughout the years. Our chat network has always followed its original goals of offering a presence on the internet for Catholic "Socializing, Faith Sharing, Religious Discussion and Prayer".
The website itself at first was a vehicle for people to find our chat rooms on the internet as well as offering a few links to great Catholic websites. What started out as a small website with only a few pages has grown to a few thousand. It has become a well respected and popular internet presence and a resource to a wealth of Catholic information in its own right. Through all this, we have always strived to maintain a sense of "community" for fellow Catholics. As new technology emerges, the future continues to hold a bright promise for us to continue evangelizing on the internet.
Please join us as we continue to explore the richness of our Faith while traveling deeper into the new millennium.