The journal Heiliger Dienst of the Austrian Liturgical Institute recently published a thematic issue titled liturgie@internet. I was particularly interested in the essay on the “internet church St. Boniface.” This online church is maintained by pastoral staff from the German dioceses of Hildesheim and Osnabrück as well as by several religious orders. St. Bonifatius offers a chatroom for conversations with chaplains, a board for intercessions, Compline once a month, and a number of additional activities. One of the intriguing insights from this online church, which has been in existence since 1998, is that “anonymity creates great openness” (p. 67). I find that quite convincing, actually. The Anglican Cathedral in Second Life, for example, offers a similar – albeit digitally more sophisticated – space.
I am curious whether there are any Catholic, English-speaking internet churches, like St. Boniface in Germany? Is there a diocese in the U.S. that supports an online church?