The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany this week launched a completely redesigned website in an effort to streamline existing information, provide more intuitive navigation, and create moments of “encounter” for visitors to www.rcda.org. The new website, which is mobile-friendly and includes a dynamic search of the 126 parishes throughout the 14-county Diocese, is aimed first and foremost at Catholics in the pews and those people who may want to inquire about the Catholic faith or a local parish for the first time.
“We are called to ‘Go and make disciples.’ That means meeting people where they are, even if it’s on a website,” said Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger. “We don’t simply want to provide facts and information; we want to provide an opportunity for people to make a personal connection with our staff and, through that connection, to experience the love and mercy of Jesus Christ at work in their lives.”
New features on the website include a “How do I…” drop-down menu that covers such topics as becoming a Catholic, becoming a priest, finding a parish, getting tickets to a papal audience, or making a donation. Other new highlights include a timeline of the Diocese’s history, individual pages for each of the 157 worship sites across 10,000 square miles, and a clean and contemporary design that makes it easy to search out necessary information. All of the Diocese’s offices and departments have pages, as do critical ministries that are of particular importance to Catholics from the region: faith formation, marriage and family life, respect life, evangelization, and more. The home page design has photo icons to take visitors to some of the most popular pages and to the Diocese’s key partner organizations.
“After much study and careful planning, it became clear that the most sought-after information on the website were Mass times, parish listings, and key ministry information. We worked closely with our designer and developer to create a site that is both intuitive and informational for visitors, no matter what their reason for seeking us out,” said Mary DeTurris Poust, director of communications for the Diocese. “We want to engage visitors, whether that’s through email, phone calls, in-person visits, or registrations. Faith is about a person-to-person experience, and we’re hoping this new site will encourage and invite that kind of interaction among our staff and the people and parishes we serve throughout the Diocese.”
The site was designed by Behan Communications of Glens Falls and Web Instinct of Saratoga Springs.
Mary DeTurris Poust