Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 22 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Ndoc Suma
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

The Man Behind America’s Largest Catholic Super-Site

New Advent

Kathy Schiffer - published on 06/23/14

Meet the founder of New Advent and find out why his site is #1.

In April 2014, ChurchRelevance.com published its 11th annual listing of the Top 300 Christian Blogs for Ministry. Included on the list were blogs by Catholics, by evangelicals, by Reformed Christians, and by virtually every branch of Christendom.  

And topping that list was New Advent, the Catholic supersite founded and maintained by Denver native Kevin Knight. New Advent captured first place with an Alexa score—a ranking based on factors including traffic and in-bound links—exceeding 41,000.

This latest honor is not the first accolade for New Advent. In 2012, St. Peter’s List ranked the site #3 on its Top Ten Catholic News Sites, explaining:

New Advent is without question one of the most popular Catholic sites for news and research.  The simple but well done outlet contains a front-page daily news aggregate, a full online Catholic Encyclopedia, St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, an index of Early Church writings, an online Bible and a library filled with Church documents.

As the award-winning website nears its 20th anniversary, I caught up with Kevin recently to discuss his faith and his vision for New Advent, and to ask how he finds the articles which are featured on the world’s largest and most popular Catholic news aggregator.  

Kevin explained that, although he’d been baptized Catholic, he hadn’t always followed his faith. It was “cultural drift,” he confessed, that caused him to leave the Church behind without a backward glance. Then in young adulthood, almost overnight, he felt a strong pull. It was through Nature that he found his way back to Faith: He came to discern God in the oceans and in all the wonders of creation, and almost overnight he realized that there had to be a Creator.

Kevin describes his quest during that time as “almost a scientific pursuit”—seeking  evidence, and pursuing it to its conclusion. He feels certain that even had he not been raised Catholic, his methodical research would have led him, based on scientific and historical evidence, to embrace the Catholic faith.

In 1993, during the visit of Pope John Paul II to Denver, Colorado for World Youth Day, Kevin was inspired to launch a project to publish the 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia on the Internet. Kevin, then a 26-year-old Denver resident, founded the website New Advent in early 1995 to house the undertaking. He enlisted the help of volunteers from the United States, Canada, France and Brazil to assist in the transcription of the original material, which was available in the public domain and no longer subject to copyright restrictions.

It’s not easy for a young atheist or agnostic, especially one who is just beginning to explore religion, to admit that he’s dissatisfied with the old answers and is seeking a new paradigm to explain the existence of the physical world. When he began his quest for truth, Kevin read anonymously, as secretly as he could, without confiding in family or friends. Later, after he’d returned to the Catholic Church, Kevin understood from his own experience that the Internet could offer privacy to seekers as they explored the faith; and he knew that a website such as New Advent could be a help to nonbelievers, as well as to those well-established in faith.

Where does the news originate? Kevin explained that he watches about 500 feeds every day, and he receives links from writers around the country. New Advent offers a mix of cultural observations, Catholic topics, whimsical pieces and lighthearted stories. In choosing stories to cover, Knight tries to stay away from polemics, the standard talking points of one side or the other, for example, in the liturgy wars. He looks for writers who speak with the Church, and for Catholic news which is presented from a different angle. If a writer is merely parroting what other pundits are saying, whether along conservative or liberal lines, that won’t be a good fit for New Advent.

  • 1
  • 2
Tags:
CatholicismFaith
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
KIDS,WATERMELON,BEACH
Cerith Gardiner
New study shows that these 2 childhood habits make you a happier ...
2
EUCHARIST
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
3
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
4
HEART OF JESUS
Bret Thoman, OFS
“Jesus, you take care of it”: Prayer of a priest Padr...
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
6
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
The lasting lesson from the late Prince Philip
7
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.