WASHINGTON (September 8, 1999) -- A promotional partnership between the Catholic Communication Campaign and the 1-800 Mass Times Trust announced in June triggered a surge in phone and Internet inquiries to the Mass times service.
The ministry to traveling Catholics provides nationwide information on Catholic church locations and the times of Masses, devotions and confessions through a toll-free phone number, 1-800 Mass Times, and an Internet site, www.masstimes.org.
According to Robert A. Hummel, Mass Times founder and trustee, phone calls jumped from 7,335 for the month of May to 12,650 in June, and 19,167 in July. Calls for the month of August continued at a high level, totaling 17,214. Visits to the Mass Times Internet site are averaging 350-500 per day. Hummel projects that the total number of Mass Times inquiries through both the toll-free number and the Web site will top 150,000 for 1999. In 1998, the 1-800 Mass Times phone service received approximately 66,000 calls. Prior to July 1999, statistics for visits to the Mass Times Web site were not collected.
Announcement of the CCC/Mass Times partnership garnered significant coverage in the Catholic press and several secular publications, including a front page mention in the August 12 edition of The Wall Street Journal.
"Getting the word out continues to be our biggest challenge and every little bit helps," said Hummel.
He voiced delight in the mention in the secular media, but said he placed his hopes in Catholic news outlets.
"We think it's publicity within the Church that will get our message to the Catholic traveler," he said.
Hummel noted plans for a public service announcement to promote the Mass Times service in diocesan newspapers and parish bulletin. Currently, the CCC is developing a logo and promotional materials, including camera ready print PSAs for the Mass Times service.