Looking Back, Looking Ahead
by Aneel Aranha
This week marks one year since Holy Spirit Interactive was formally launched. It is an apostolate that has grown phenomenally over the past twelve months, and is a growth that shows no sign of slowing. On the contrary, our plans to take the gospel message of love and peace to the people in the world in several new ways in 2005 should see HSI grow exponentially in the days to come. Here is a quick look at what has gone by and what is to follow.
Holy Spirit Interactive - On-Line is the platform on which the HSI ministry stands. With currently over 6,000 pages of faith strengthening Catholic information on it, nearly 10,000 subscribers to the free newsletter that goes out each week, and over 500,000 visitors to the site, it is obvious that the platform is a strong one. Many sections of the site, including missal readings and reflections on them are updated daily, while over a dozen others are updated weekly with features and articles. Our regular contributors include some extremely anointed people, most of whom have important ministries of their own.
HSI Kids and HSI Youth
HSI launched two new on-line platforms late last year: HSI Kids and HSI Youth, which are targeted at little children and teenagers respectively. They are semi-independent sites aimed at teaching our young friends gospel values and truths in a manner that is fun and entertaining. Both sites are growing rapidly and we are certain it won't be long before they have a following as large as the parent site.
HSI Prayer Circle
The HSI Prayer Circle is one of the fastest growing families in the world, now boasting 21 teams with nearly two dozen members in each team. The Prayer Circle lifts up hundreds of prayer requests that pour in each week. If you would like to be one of the prayer warriors in the Circle, please click here. The HSI Prayer Circle is also backed up by a 50 member Prayer Team "on ground" who provide continuous prayer and other support for the HSI apostolate.
HSI On-Line in 2005
In the months to come, we plan on offering you structured Scripture study and Theology courses, in addition to several new columns and features as we have been doing in the past. Coming up this fortnight itself are two new series: one, on Christian Music, will be authored by About.com music expert and band leader Kim Jones, while the other, on Early Church Fathers, will be authored by EWTN host Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio.
The HSI Discipleship Program
Early in 2005, we will launch the HSI Discipleship Program, which has been designed to help those who wish to lead Christian lives the way Christ asks us to. The program, which has had an extremely successful test run, is spread out over a period of 8 weeks, though a 21 hour program spread over one week is also available. This program is guaranteed to change the lives of those who participate. If you would like to host the program in your parish or for your prayer group, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bouquets and the Brickbats
While we do get the occasional bit of hate mail, usually from some disgruntled ex-Catholic who has a bone to pick with the Church, or some silly fellow who believes God has poured wisdom exclusively on him while passing over everybody else for the past two thousand years, most of the mail that we get is very positive. We are especially happy that the site is well respected among the clergy who keep telling us what a great job we are doing. Among our well wishers are nuns, priests, bishops and even the occasional cardinal! We find ourselves both touched and encouraged.
We need you!
This is the part that many will shy away from, but you have to understand that a ministry such as this needs your support if it is to grow. Holy Spirit Interactive is under authority to the Catholic Church, but it is not funded by it. Consequently, our only source of monetary assistance is people such as yourself who like and appreciate the work we are doing. Pledging a small amount towards HSI each month, or making a larger donation at longer intervals will go far in expanding the outreach of this ministry. Please do so! God will assuredly bless you for your help in spreading his word. Please click here to make your contribution.
No ministry is the effort of one person and I am indebted to many; so many, in fact, it is impossible to list all of them, but I would like to acknowledge a few here.
First of all, I have to thank God who makes all things possible. I thank my heavenly Father for showing me the path; Jesus, for lighting it up for me; and the Holy Spirit — my dearest friend — for helping me walk on it.
I thank Hilary da Veiga for his unwavering support since I first met him two years ago. I also thank Fr. John Fernandez, my spiritual director; and Fr. Francis Jamieson, Vicar General of Arabia, whose encouragement and support have played major roles in making this ministry as successful as it is today. I also thank Diana Vellara and Carmen Francis for their steadfast loyalty during difficult times.
I thank my brother Naveen and his wife Danielle for providing much needed technical assistance and 24 hour support to HSI On-Line and for bearing all hardware and server costs, in addition to love that is beyond value. May God bless them abundantly.
I thank Fr. Francis Jamieson (again), my dear friends Fr. Jack McArdle and Fr. Peter deSousa, Fr. Jude Botelho, Fr. Rufus Pereira, Fr. William Saunders, Fr. Fio Mascarenhas, Jeff Montgomery and Mark Shea for their support and their friendship. Not only have they helped make HSI what it is today, they have helped shape me as well. I am truly grateful.
I also thank Terry Modica, Paul Dallgas-Frey, Leonard Rego, Juliet Mascarenhas, Sharmila Rego, Diana and Joann Vellara, Annabel Sutton, Corinne Campos, Ruben Fernando, Jane Pimenta, Kim Jones, Amy Welborn, Leela Francisco, Dwight Longenecker, Fr. Frank Pavone, Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosia and Janet Smith for their regular columns. Also Gwen Meharg and Natasha Leach, as well as all others who render very important editorial support and other assistance to HSI.
I thank each and every member of our global Intercessory Prayer Circle, which now comprises twenty one teams from all over the world. Not only do they lift up hundreds of prayer petitions that pour in every week, they provide the very necessary prayer support HSI needs to breathe and grow. I also thank every member of the HSI Prayer Team for their unceasing love and constant support, and for their active interest in ensuring the future growth of this ministry.
Finally, I thank my wife Glenda and my two children Aneel and Lianne for the sacrifices they continously make because of this apostolate, their selflessness in sharing me with the world, and their wholehearted support of Holy Spirit Interactive and everything else that I do.
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Copyright © 2004-2005 Aneel Aranha. All rights reserved.