Denver native Kevin Knight, 47, founded the Catholic website NewAdvent.org in 1995. His site, which offers everything from news stories to the Catholic Encyclopedia, was ranked No. 1 on the Top 300 Christian Blogs for Ministry by ChurchRelevance.com this spring. He recently spoke to the Denver Catholic Register about his supersite.
Q: How did you find out NewAdvent.org was ranked first on the Top 300 Christian Blogs for Ministry by ChurchRelevance.com and what was your reaction?
A: I started getting email from both longtime readers and new visitors, telling me that New Advent had appeared at the top of ChurchRelevance.com’s ranking. I was honored because the list included a wide range of blogs (both Catholic and Protestant), and I was a fan of so many of them. It was nice just to be on the list with them.
Q: Why did you found NewAdvent.org and when?
A: I founded New Advent on May 1, 1995—the anniversary of my confirmation. After World Youth Day 1993 in Denver, I spent more than a year trying to convince some of my favorite Catholic organizations to start websites. The problem was, none of them knew what a website was. So New Advent was originally just a proof of concept that quickly took on a life of its own.
Q: What is your mission with the site and how do you find the stories and opinion pieces you post?
A: New Advent’s mission is to spread the Gospel with a clear and confident voice. Between the Catholic Encyclopedia, Summa Theologiae and Church Fathers, I want visitors to get a sense of the Church’s depth and vastness. And on the homepage, I try to choose a mix of stories that, taken together, reflects the mind of Christ on the news of the day.
Q: Do you operate the site by yourself or do you have help? If you operate it by yourself, how do you manage that?
A: I don’t have paid staff, but I do rely on a huge network of contributors and correspondents to help with editorial tasks.
Q: What did you do before you began New Advent?
A: I was on my way to a career in meteorology and working at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Since it was a research facility, they were way ahead of the curve on technology and among the first in the world to get on the Web, so it was actually the perfect preparation for what I’m doing now.
Q: You recently started a new job with the Denver Archdiocese. What is that and why did you take that on?
A: I’m working in the Office of Evangelization and Family Life Ministries. Mass media and digital efforts like New Advent have their place, but especially in the United States, the front lines will always be the parishes. I’m passionate about helping pastors and parish leaders see their importance in the great scheme of things, and I want to support them in any way that I can.
Q: What are your future plans for New Advent?
A: I’m a history buff, and I’m working on a new resource to help present Church history in a unified way on New Advent. I want people to see the centrality of Jesus Christ in human history. I also want to add more ancient Christian writings, and several volunteers have stepped forward to transcribe writings of the Doctors of the Church, so there’s never a lack of plans here.
Q: Is there anything you would like to add?
A: Just a message to young people: Learn to write computer code, and put your skills at the service of the Church. In the coming years, Christ will need more missionaries in the digital world than ever before.