I first met Kevin Knight a few years ago, when he and I were both attending a conference of the Catholic Marketing Network. I think we were in Chicago, but Kevin may step in to correct that–we met in some hotel lobby, then spent a little time chatting in the bar.
A few years later, we met again–this time in Baltimore for the Bishops and Bloggers Meeting, hosted by USCCB in conjunction with their General Assembly. (Check out that photo, below.)
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Anyway, Kevin told me how he had pursued a career in meteorology, and how his work at a research facility put him in touch with the world-wide web at the start of the digital age. But then, when Pope John Paul II came to Denver in 1993 for World Youth Day, Kevin got a new idea: The 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia was in the public domain, so why not make it available on-line for anyone to read?
That marked the birth of New Advent. With the help of volunteers (and yes, I was one of those volunteers, back in the mid-’90s, helping to type articles which would become part of the on-line edition), Kevin set out to digitize the Catholic Encyclopedia and the Summa Theologica, as well as the complete writings of the Early Church Fathers.
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Last week, it was my great privilege to interview Kevin for Aleteia. It seemed fitting: One major Catholic news site interviewing another.
We talked about that big award he won recently: earning the #1 slot on churchrelevance.com’s 11th annual listing of the Top 300 Christian Blogs for Ministry.
We talked about how he collects the news that Catholics love to read.
And oh my gosh, Kevin’s got even bigger plans for the future! “It’s my dream,” he said,
“…to begin pulling together a lot of these resources into pages that could walk people through history and through theology—to hold their hands and walk them through the oceans of material.”
He’s a dedicated Catholic, and a downright fascinating guy. You should go on over and read the whole thing at Aleteia.
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Oh! And the photo, proof that we were all there, face to face–Kevin Knight, a bunch of Patheos bloggers and other writers, enjoying some light refreshment at Baltimore’s James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant.