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July 2, 2001


Electronic evangelization efforts of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia continue with tremendous success. Since its establishment by Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, in November 1998, the Bless Me Phone Line, 1-877-BlessMe, has received 50,251 calls. Since March 1999, the Bless Me web site, has been visited over 52,000 times.

The BlessMe Line is a toll-free, confidential phone line for people to call to help them reconnect with the Catholic Church. The phones are staffed by priests Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and one evening a week from 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. On other evenings of the week, callers are asked to leave a message and a priest returns the call. Since 1998, callers have asked the priests questions on a wide range of subjects. The most common questions are about Church teaching, marriage, family matters and abortion. Other dioceses in the United States and around the world have patterned similar programs after the BlessMe Line.

To compliment the BlessMe phone line, Cardinal Bevilacqua initiated a companion web site that would serve the same purpose: This web site was launched in March 1999. Visitors to the BlessMe web site can utilize Disciples on the Internet, an opportunity to e-mail a question to a priest for a personal response. Visitors can also read answers to frequently asked questions or fill a "shopping cart" with requests for pamphlets about evangelization efforts.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is also collaborating with America Online to allow more people to access the web site. There is prominent placement on a commercial search engine (AOL), and is part of AOL's Digital City Philadelphia web site ( A rotating banner advertises the BlessMe site under the health and fitness section. The banner currently reads "Think you can't make it right? You're wrong." That banner provides a direct link to the BlessMe web site. The banner also rotates on other Digital City Philadelphia pages.


Donna Farrell
Broadcast and Media Specialist

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