A great Web site reveals multitudes, possesses as much depth as a good book. It offers a distinctive voice, an expert point of view, a solid aesthetic. Combined, these traits create something akin to a belief system. Kind of like the Catholic Church. With 2,000 years of writing to draw from, the Archdiocese of St. Louis' Web site is a wellspring. From job listings to a history of Pope John Paul II's 1999 visit to St. Louis to a genealogy resources page, the site overflows with info. But what puts www.archstl.org
over the proverbial top is its "Request Prayer" page, wherein anyone can request the concentrated spiritual energy of a group of local Contemplative nuns. "I ask for hope, purpose and companionship," reads a recent request. "27 years of sickness and living below poverty level. Sick and lonely. I need to look forward to something." Another soul looks for something more concrete: "Please pray that I will be able to sell my condo in order to finance my dream house. The house will be dedicated to God's glory." "Heal my skin." "Heal my spine." "PLEASE PRAY FOR ME IM HAVING A LOT OF PROBLEMS GETTING ALONG WITH PEOPLE." Amen.