Daily prayer online

Latest Space #04

Latest Space #4

Gerry, Bourke, a team member Greetings once again from the Sacred Space team. I am Gerry Bourke, SJ. My role on the team is responding to
those who send us “feedback” on Editing Latest Space grows out of that work.
I hope you will enjoy this issue of the newsletter, which aims to keep you updated on the latest developments at the Jesuit Communication Centre, particularly as they relate to our website, Sacred Space.

During the summer months there was a lot of “coming and going” in the office. Apart from the
usual holiday break, Roisín Pye left us in mid-August for further
studies in Italy. In September, David Birchall, SJ, returned to
his native England to be Parish Priest of St. Wilfrid’s Church
in Preston. In early August we welcomed Jae-Hong Cheon –
all the way from Korea – to take on the formidable task
of webmaster.


Jae-Hong Cheon, a team member People call me Jae-Hong. That’s my first name. I came to Ireland to learn English in April of this year. Fortunately,
I could begin working for Sacred Space last month.
Communicating with the translators and managing Sacred Space is my main work. I was a computer software
developer and a specialist for IBM Information Security Products in my country. When I studied in Sogang University, founded by the Jesuits in Seoul, I worked for 5 years at the Institute for Ignatian Spirituality . I think that’s why I’m happy to work here. I hope that my work will be helpful to many in their prayer. If you have any suggestions or helpful comments for improving Sacred Space, please let us know.


Fr. Philip McShane, a photographer I am Fr. Philip McShane OP. I am at present the Novice Master of the Irish Dominicans. I am interested in
photography–particularly landscape and people. For the past two
years I have been contributing photographs to “Sacred Space”.

SACRED SPACE ON TV It was mentioned in the
last issue of Latest Space that Fr. Gerry would
be spending the month of July in a parish on Long Island, New York.
Hearing of his plans, one of our regular visitors
contacted him and asked if he would be willing to be
interviewed about his work on Sacred Space for Faith Connections, a program which she hosts for TV. This entailed a pleasant trip to
Massachusetts, and resulted in a half-hour interview, which he
hopes will help, in some small way, to spread the
news about Sacred Space to those who may not yet know about it.

If anyone is interested in a tape of the interview, either for their own
personal use or for use on a local TV program, Sandy Donovan, the
interviewer, has very kindly let us know that she can be
contacted at Faith Connections, S andy Donovan, PO Box 394,
Chelmsford, MA 01824, USA,
or by
e-mail, at [email protected]or, if that fails, at [email protected]


With the help of
Jae-Hong, we have been able to see some graphic data on the visitors to
Sacred Space. As you will note in the diagram below, the number each
week is significantly lower on Saturdays and Sundays. This would seem
to indicate that many people log on to Sacred Space during work hours.

daily visitor graph

An interesting illustration
of how important Sacred Space is in the workplace came recently in
this piece of feedback from a hard worker in Dublin, Ireland:

“….I’ve always accessed
you on the work computer. I work hard and many long (unpaid) hours.
I find Sacred Space great to help me when I’m a bit stressed out. Now,
last Monday was a bad morning and it felt like I was being hit with one thing
after another which was going horribly wrong. In desperation, I went
to click on Sacred Space to take me away from the chaos for ten minutes and to
help me de-stress. The next thing didn’t a message pop up that the site
had been blocked as a ‘non-business’ site. I couldn’t believe it! My
oasis gone from me! I trotted off to the
Ladies and sitting on the porcelain throne, I sobbed silently into a fistful of
coarse loo paper.

“Next day, with energy
levels a bit better, I decided that I wasn’t taking the loss of Sacred Space
without a fight. So ready to do battle, I rang and e-mailed our IT people
and (with certain trepidation at the fact that I was ‘coming out’ to work
colleagues as a ‘Person Who Prays To God’… gulp!) I made the case that this
site was used by me for business purposes in the form of stress
management. I got the loveliest reception from my IT people! The
site was unblocked that evening! That means that the 6,000 people working
in my organisation now have access to Sacred Space ‘cos I opened my gob!
Wow! O.K. I thought that I should just share that with you
people out there.”

Apart from the English version
of Sacred Space, Jae-Hong also sends from our office the Irish, Spanish,
Portuguese, Catalan and French translations. So the visitors to these
versions are included in the number that our counter records, as it moves
toward the 5 million mark. When we sought a breakdown of the countries
from which these visitors come, we found that in one week we had visitors
from 51 different countries. That includes only those who use
e-mail addresses that indicate the country of origin, such as .uk, .au, .ie, and the like.
Many from all over the world use addresses that end with .com, .net, .org, .edu and the like. So there may
be members of our praying community that come from other
countries as well.


A few examples from recent
feedback illustrate how diverse is the community
that is united in prayer by Sacred Space.

Thank you for allowing God to speak to me
through Sacred Space. It’s good to stop everything and listen to
HIM. It gives me peace, allows me to feel love, and brings me home again
to where I belong. A friend told me about your website and, I assure you,
Toronto will know about it. Canada

It may seem a funny place to pray, but I can
pray better in front of my computer with the help of Sacred Space. I have a
picture of the Sacred Heart on the wall over the computer and I find that I can
talk, chat and confide in God. I’ve had some great moments and some sad moments
sitting here. Sacred Space has made such a difference to my
life. Ireland

Logging on to Sacred Space is like stopping and
looking up at the sky when all around are hurrying along, with their eyes intent
on the two metres ahead of them. A sanctuary of peace in a life far too caught
up in the trivialities of modern living. Your site is a release, an oasis and a
truly Sacred space – comforting yet
challenging. England.

It is truly a blessing for me to go to Sacred
Space, which I think of as a huge Church. There in that Church, I stand next to
people from all over the world and pray together with them and feel their
presence next to me. Now THIS is CHURCH ! USA

I logged on to Sacred Space. It’s great. I
learnt about it through a course on -“Trying to pray in trying
times”. It’s listed at the bottom of our suggested readings….I
tried Sacred Space and I’m thrilled! I can’t wait until I tell my friends
of this great treasure. Australia.

This is a wonderful website
for someone trying seriously to find God, to learn about Him and to be with
Him. I have found it to be great food for thought, especially when one is
finding his way in this busy bustling life. What an oasis in a
desert! China

I am an evangelical
Christian and an instructor in the Old testament at one of the seminaries
here…. (Sacred Space) has been a real blessing……I pray for the day
that Catholics and evangelicals everywhere can warmly embrace each other as
brothers, when the prayer of Christ for the church’s unity will be
fulfilled….. Philippines

For more than two years now,
I’m used to pray with your guiding help…. What a big church with more than
6000 entries a day! What a beautiful living example of the universal church. I
will keep you in my prayer. May we pray for each other. France

I would like to congratulate
you for a job well done. All my life I wanted somebody to teach me how to
pray right. Sometimes, when praying, one’s mind likes to wander off, but your
method of preparation before praying helped a great deal…. Namibia

Hi, everyone! No words
can really express the way I felt when I found this Sacred Space. It’s so
beautiful, so touching. I can really get to know God more and more
closely. Saipan

….Sacred Space has given
me the opportunity to stop and talk to and listen to the Holy Spirit. I am
finding a calmness within me that I did not have before I found your site. Zimbabwe

you are interested in more of the latest feedback to Sacred Space, go
to for English, for Portuguese, for Franch and for Catalan


The question of statistics was raised recently in an e-mail from New
York: “Could you give thought to an
opinion….on not putting a priority on keeping track of visitors to ….I recently removed a counter on a home page that I
provide…. It seemed not in keeping with the Lord’s scheme of
things. I felt it is sort of like boasting. It was good to see that
visitors were coming, and it may have kept me submitting the URL to
search engines. Other than that, doesn’t it appeal to a sort of pride or, maybe,
competitiveness in your opinion? I leave you with a request for your
thoughts on the matter after you bring it to the Master”

In my response I
wrote: “It helps our visitors in their
prayer to know that they are part of a large community, and that, day after day,
so many thousands are visiting Sacred Space. Obviously, to make “counting
numbers” a “priority” would not be a good thing. The numbers are used
as a means to an end. The end is the glory of God, specifically
in prayer. In order to achieve that end, we need not only the
continuing prayer of those already praying, but also the encouragement
of others as we spread the word to them. It helps in this task
to convey the good news that some 7,000 people from all over the world are
visiting Sacred Space daily. It can also help us in getting the financial
support that we need in order to keep the website ‘up and


We have had requests
asking us to make Sacred Space available on handheld
. We are looking into that right now and would
appreciate comments and advice from PDA users – anything that might
help us in making our decision.

Vincent Magri S.J., suggested that Sacred Space might be translated into
Maltese. He has already been in touch with Paul Zammit S.J., the
director of a Jesuit retreat house in Malta, who will take care
of the translation. In October, the project will begin, and we
hope that a Maltese version of Sacred Space will be
launched this Advent.

We have also been in communication with volunteers for possible Czech and Slovak translations. But it may be
some time before we can offer you versions in these two languages.
The German and Chinese
are still in the pipeline, but we hope
they will be ready in the not too distant future.


Peter, our Slovakian web-designer, came up with this adaptation of a Larson cartoon, which we
offer now to you – with apologies to Larson. We trust God will continue to smile upon us. I hope you have enjoyed this issue of Latest Space as much as the team
has enjoyed putting it together. Any comments, reflections, or
suggestions to improve LATEST SPACE are most welcome. Just click on REPLY, not STUCK! God bless. Fr. Gerry

God At His Computer

The Sacred Space team,

Jesuit Communication Centre,

36 Lower Leeson

Dublin 2, Ireland

For previous issues, click here: Latest Space #1  Latest Space #2  Latest Space #3

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