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History * Pilgrims * Recognition
"The Order of Saint Benedict" WWW site has been in existence since 1 April 1995. Abbot Primate Jerome Theisen OSB reviewed and approved the website during a visit to Saint John's, Collegeville, not long before his death at Rome in September 1995. Subsequent Abbots Primate have graciously continued that confidence and encouragement.
The purpose of this site is to provide information about the Order of Saint Benedict and the monastic order of folk. The website is the collaborative effort of many talented and generous monastics, oblates, and friends. Members, staff, friends, and affiliates of Benedictine institutions provide information about items available on the Internet, or they submit original content for inclusion. Material will continue to be added as time and resources permit. New items usually appear first in the "What's New?" section. Sooner or later pertinent items find a permanent home with related material.
Since 24 August 1999, the OSB web files are on a new server (WinNT). Some elements have new addresses. For help finding items, check out the main index, the OSB Site Map, or the Search Page.
"Great care and concern are to be shown in receiving poor people and pilgrims, because in them more particularly Christ is received..." (Rule of Benedict, 53:15).
One way of fulfilling the above injunction is the care contributors to this site take creating HTML documents that can be viewed by any browser. This effort was recognized in December 1996 by inclusion of the OSB WWW site in the relatively short list of sites that have been recognized as . The approved HTML 3.2 recommendation (aka Wilbur) helped professional HTML authors create browser-independent documents.
Jeff Zaleski's book, The Soul of Cyberspace (HarperEdge, July 1997, pp. 113-120) contains a longish interview with the OSB Webmaster about the issue of accessibility and other topics. The latest approved HTML 4.01 recommendation goes even further to foster universal accessibility for the handicapped. Recent wireless receivers, such as PDAs, WPAs, handhelds, or cellphones that access e-mail or the WWW depend on the generally accepted standard that ensures some meaningful display at every level of access. If you would like more information about creating universally accessible (catholic) HTML documents, visit the HTML Writers Guild for information about validation or use WebXACT to test your documents. The Benedictines have practiced hosting as Christ both rich and poor alike for over 1,500 years and plan, with God's grace, to continue doing so into the Cyber Age.
A vast amount of religious material is available on the Internet for seekers of spiritual edification, wisdom and refreshment. Benedictines nourish their spiritual life through the practice of lectio divina and daily participation in the Church's liturgy. Other sites develop spiritual and religious themes from diverse viewpoints. I maintain and update a selection of such sites among my "Favorite URLs". Separate sections are devoted to Catholic websites and Religious Orders and Congregations.
Comments from visitors to the Order of Saint Benedict website are always welcome. Many have sent encouraging words that are highly gratifying.
If you would like to support the maintenance and development of the OSB website financially, buy a product from the OSB Website Store, the Saint John's Abbey Web Store
or donate directly to
The Abbey Web Office
C/o Bro. Brad Jenniges OSB
Saint John's Abbey Business Office
PO Box 2400
Collegeville, MN 56321-2400 USA.
If you would like web support for an OSB-themed project, contact Bro. Richard Oliver OSB, Webweaver.
OSB Main Index
In January 2002, Bayardweb and Panorama magazine included the OSB site among the top 400 websites according to ten criteria that include "ease of access, richness of content, frequency of revision, etc." The list, divided into 30 categories, is available online at <www.croire.com/>, a part of Bayardweb.
On 18 July 2000 the domain: osb.org was ranked #5,219 out of 748,981 domains in the WebsMostLinked.com/ database and #6,909 out of 913,030 on 26 August 2000.
On 22 July 1998, several sections of the OSB website were recognized by Links2 Go in its highly ecumenical Religion category. The Links2Go Key Resource award was both exclusive and objective. Fewer than one page in one thousand will ever be selected for inclusion. "During the course of our analysis, we identify which links are most representative of each of the thousands of topics in Links2Go, based on how actual page authors, like yourself, index and organize links on their pages."
The site was once accorded a rating by The McKinley Group (Magellan) on 24 July 1996 and achieved a LYCOS TOP 5% Review even earlier. It is one of fourteen sites on CSB and SJU servers included in Catholicism on the Web by Thomas C. Fox (MIS Press, 1997). In October 1997, Ashgate Arachnid, UK, awarded its Médaille d'Or in the Religion category. The Encyclopædia Britannica Internet Guide reviewed and recommends both The Order of Saint Benedict website and its Cistercian Index.
On 1 December 1998 Liz Knuth's monumental HTML version of the Conferences and Institutes of John Cassian were included in the "Reading Room" of Orthodox World Links. About the same time the OSB website was awarded the Mozilla Cool Site award for religious orders.
The illustration of Saint Benedict on the main page is from Clip Art by Steve Erspamer SM; ed. Peter Mazar (Archd. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, © 1992-; 1-800-933-1800). The vellum background there used outside of Advent and Lent was created by Skip Knox from a photo of a Vatican manuscript. Machine-readable cataloging (MARC) for this site is OCLC record number 32566843. The subject classification number according to the Library of Congress system is BX3002.A1 O7 1995; Dewey Decimal is 255.1.
In 2013 the Bavarian State Library requested and was given authorisation to archive www.osb.org/ using Web Curator Tool software.
The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University, located in central Minnesota, are the joint sponsors of the server that makes this site available. SJU is sponsored by the Order of Saint Benedict, a not for profit corporation chartered by the Territory of Minnesota, 1856. CSB and SJU rank annually among "America's 100 Most Wired Colleges."
Lonni Collins Pratt and Fr. Daniel Homan OSB include generous praise for the OSB website at the conclusion of their well-received book, Benedict's Way: An ancient monk's insights for a balanced life (Chicago: Loyola Press, 2000, p. 240.)
The information at this site <www.osb.org/> is provided in good faith for educational purposes, but no warranty can be made for its accuracy. Feel free to cite, quote or make links, but reproduction of this material in any form of storage, paper, electronic, etc., is discouraged without the written permission of the author(s). Intellectual property rights to this material might be held by the original artist(s), author(s) or translator(s). The OSB website supports the Creative Commons Licence.
This site contains links to other Internet sites. These links are not endorsements of any products or services in such sites, and no information in such site has been endorsed or approved by this site.
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The author is a member of
Richard Oliver OSB MA
Monk of Saint John's Abbey
Collegeville, MN 56321-2015
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29 May 2015
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