Many Web publishers are using the Internet’s earliest and
most widespread tool to extend their reach. E-mail newsletters
help bring the message of the Web directly to your inbox daily,
weekly or whenever.
E-mail discussion lists—including ones targeted at Church
professionals—have been up and running since the 1980s. Participants
have used e-mail to argue the issues of the day, share resources,
make connections. The new kid on the block is the e-newsletter
tied directly to a Web site.
It’s more of a one-way street—you receive it and learn what’s
happening on a Web site. It can be a handy way to stay in
touch without having to remember to stop back at the Web site
constantly. If a Web site has an e-newsletter, you’ll find
instructions on how to sign up at the Web site.
Inspiration and Information
We will soon be seeing more e-newsletters from parish Web
sites. Some now have the weekly homily text, parishioners’
prayer intentions or simply parish announcements.
Other e-newsletters seek a broader audience, some to inform,
some to inspire, some to sell products. One of my favorites
is the Daily e-pistle (www.catholic-forum.com),
which includes the day’s readings from the liturgy.
is an outreach of St. Meinrad School of Theology in Indiana.
Their weekly e-newsletter not only tells what’s new for Catholic
youth on the site, but, true to the Benedictine emphasis on
liturgy, also has a list of daily and Sunday readings.
This site features the monthly e-newsletter Friar
Jack’s E-Spirations, with musings about Franciscan spirituality
from Jack Wintz, O.F.M.
Good News, Bad News
The good news about e-newsletters is that, once you sign
up, they come to you without any effort on your part. The
bad news is most people can only handle a few of these newsletters
at a time without suffering “inbox fatigue”—e-mail overload.
The trick might well be to rotate among your favorites—or
to establish an e-mail account devoted entirely to this less