HNP Ministries Enhance Online Presence

Rebecca Doel Around the Province

This summer has been a time of transitions. Friars are concluding service at old ministries and getting settled into new roles. In this season of change, three Province parishes have taken the opportunity to launch new looks for their presence on the web.

Each of the websites — for St. Mary’s in Pompton Lakes, N.J., for St. Francis of Assisi in New York, and for St. Anthony of Padua in Greenville, S.C. — are designed to be easy to navigate and find information about each of the communities. Each includes myriad photos for virtual visitors to get a sense of the community and up-to-date bulletins as well as ways to sign up for online giving and parish registration.

Pompton Lakes
The new website of St. Mary’s Church shows a shot of the sanctuary, which was renovated with the help of Fred Dilger, OFM, in May 2010, as well as a picture of the parish’s new and previous pastors — Frank Sevola, OFM, and Kevin Downey, OFM.

A left sidebar shows quick links, offering visitors easy access to the Mass schedule, bulletins, staff directory, online registration and information about funerals, weddings and baptisms.

The website — designed by a local company — also includes pages on adult faith formation, Filipino and Hispanic ministries, music ministry, liturgy and worship, youth ministry, social justice, and more. Coordinators of each ministry are now able to easily access and update their own information without outside assistance, said Anne Silversey, director of youth ministry, who managed the committee that redesigned the website.

Silversey said that the development of the website’s concept was a group effort, and that the new website aims to be user-friendly for parishioners and easy to manage and update for the parish staff.

New York City
For St. Francis of Assisi Church in Midtown Manhattan, where Andrew Reitz, OFM, is pastor, redesigning the website was a well-planned venture. “We wanted a simple, easy to navigate design that reflects our community, the beautiful historic building in which we come together to worship God, and the great city in which we live,” according to a page of the site outlining the new features.

The website was launched at the end of May, said Timothy Shreenan, OFM, “after almost a year of preparation as part of an overall plan to update our communications.” It was designed by one of the church’s parishioners, Chris Richter, who was baptized at the Easter Vigil in 2010.

The site’s landing page shows a slideshow of images of the church along with its mission statement. Visitors can sign up for weekly email updates and online giving, register as a member of the parish and find the church on Facebook.

Other pages within the site exhibit a rotating set of photos. “We include photos of both the church and scenes from around New York City,” Tim said. Parishioners can submit their own photos of the church and city to Joseph Nuzzi, director of evangelization, for possible inclusion.

Much like St. Francis’ website and the Province’s home page, the redesigned website of St. Anthony of Padua Church, where Patrick Tuttle, OFM, is pastor, includes a set of rotating photos. “The pictures are, of course, one of our favorite new features,” Patrick said.

The facelift helps the parish site to match its school’s website. The redesign also coincides with the end stages of fashioning a new building to replace the 60-year-old school. “We wanted easier access, up-to-date and a more accurate depiction of our mission here to be reflected on our website,” Pat said.

From the landing page, visitors can find recent news about the St. Anthony community, learn about the school, download the church’s most recent bulletin and find the Mass schedule and directions to the church. Other pages within the site include photos, a registration form, parish history, stewardship and religious education information as well as a form to sign up for online giving.

“All three sites offer information and features designed to provide a comprehensive and lively view of the parishes,” said Jocelyn Thomas, HNP’s communications director. “Their mission statements help to tell parishioners — and potential parishioners — of the Franciscan tradition of the three ministries.”

— Rebecca Doel is communications coordinator for the Province. Vicky Wolak contributed to this article.