New Website Successfully Launched

New website was successfully launched by Provincial, Fr. Louis Lougen on Jan. 4, 2010.

The launch was preceeded by a live video communication to members of the Oblate Community, with discussion and forum, polling and Q & A.

(updated Jan. 6, 2010) In his recent message for World Communications Day Pope Benedict XVI said of current digital advances: “These technologies are truly a gift to humanity and we must endeavor to ensure that the benefits they offer are put at the service of all human individuals and communities, especially those who are most disadvantaged and vulnerable.”

The Oblates were one of the first Religious Orders in the Catholic Church to make the step into cyberspace, and the vivid new site incorporates the most popular elements of the former site with many innovative features.

Brother Bill Johnson, OMI, who shepherded the re-design with a task-force of his fellow Oblates commented, “It is a great opportunity for us to use the best of our media resources to tell the Oblate story to the world, and shows the importance of the Internet for evangelization in our media culture.”

The ‘content management system’ (CMS) technology behind the new website has been designed/implemented by Webchurch Media, a division of MindActive Inc. St. Louis, MO (not too far from The Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Ill.) MindActive is making a big name for itself in web services for community projects and non-profit organizations, particularly religious ones.

Webchurch Media co-founder Byron Sletten said, “After a detailed & collaborative analysis of the Oblates’ web goals, we agreed that the best solution was a media focused CMS site. The Oblates have great news to tell and an amazing history,”, says Sletten. “This site will set the bar for rich media, news, events and community interaction to meet their communication goals.”

Open source CMS sites are a significant trend in web development – putting control of content publishing back in the hands of the communications staff rather than web staff.

Fr Ronald LaFramboise, OMI, who has maintained and developed the site from its inception, said: “The possibilities offered by this new technology are very exciting. We can upload videos, images, documents and other resources in a fraction of the time previously needed.”

The website was officially launched on January 4th, 2010 by the Provincial of the US province, Very Rev. Louis Lougen, OMI, who said, “ is the first portal for many people into the riches of the Oblate tradition. Especially as we approach the 150th anniversary of the Founder’s death, we’re experiencing many inquiries about our way of life, so the interactivity and video resources on the site will provide so much more for our vocational outreach in 2010.”