Universal Church

This will perhaps be the most exciting new feature on your favourite website. You will be able to see the distribution of dioceses around the world on an interactive map! This will allow researchers and laypeople alike to concretely grasp the universality of the Catholic Church!

A picture is worth a thousand words. Here is a map of the dioceses in Asia:

Each type of circumscriptions employs a different symbol. Dioceses use a Latin cross; archdioceses have a double-bar cross; patriarchates and major archdioceses use a triple-bar cross. Eastern-rite sees are denoted by brown markers, and Latin-rite purple.

Here is a map of North America:

You will be able to zoom in seamlessly:

You will be able to filter by rite. This is the map for the Ukrainian rite:

When will this new feature be available? The interactive maps will be released when total donation reaches $2,000. Much more work is needed for fine-tuning and integration to the website. If you donate, this will encourage me to work faster! Please read the rationale behind the much needed donations.

Finally, this is my favourite map:

You can see clearly the demographics of the African population, with the Sahara desert separating Northern Africa from the thriving sub-Saharan countries. A huge Catholic population can be found in Western Africa, as well as countries around Lake Victoria.

We can really learn a lot from these maps. I hope you are excited about this! Please donate according to your ability to give!

Appeal for Donations

I am a computer scientist and software engineer by profession. I created the GCatholic website 17 years ago to gather things that I was interested. Website maintenance was done in my spare time and on weekends. On average, I spent more than 4 hours every day after work to make the website up-to-date as well as doing research. I devoted entire extended vacations to create new features. (For example, I spent 5 days in Cuba to create the new section on papal documents, and 7 days in a cruise to lay the groundwork and input the data for all churches in Canada.)

There is a lot that I have wanted to work on. In order to find more time, I quitted my work months ago to devote myself to the website. This is why I am now appealing for donations.

A lot of time and energy is involved in maintaining GCatholic. Data is gathered from the internet, books I bought, libraries that I travelled to, as well as supporters of the website. The data is laboriously entered to the database. I then write the computer code to present the data in webpages. New tools are often created to simplify the process.

Man-hours aside, there are many operating expenses. Due to ever increasing visitors to my website, I had to pay to upgrade the web server three times in the past to deal with bandwidth demand. Presently, there are on average 120,000 hits every day. The website experiences twice the traffic during Christmas time when people look for churches to attend midnight Mass. During sede vacante and prior to consistories creating new cardinals, the hits increased up to five times.

I am happy and feel honoured to provide this service to the Church and researchers. I have always produced the fruits of my research online free-of-charge. I tried adding ads to the website but removed them, because the revenue is minimal and people do not like them. Since I am now working full-time on the website without other means of revenue, donation is necessary.

The present goal is raising $5,000. 

It may seem a lot, but this only covers a tiny fraction of what I would normally earn. If you use the website daily and find it helpful, consider donating $10 or $20. If you can afford, $100 or more will be appreciated. Donate according to your ability to give, in the remaining 2 days of Lent as well as in the festive season of Easter. $5,000 will cover the basic cost of living for me.

Here is an impetus for you to donate generously. Once $2,000 is reached, an exciting new feature will be released on the website:

You will be able to see the location of dioceses around the world in an interactive map. Read more about it here.

Please donate today!

Yours truly,
Gabriel Chow