Since its launch, March 31, FaithTrip.net has received over 50,000 unique visitors and a steady stream of new members from all over the world, according to a Church Resources statement.
To cater for the worldwide reach of the church, the Faithtrip social networking platform is going multilingual, currently providing users the ability to navigate and converse in seven languages.
"FaithTrip offers a universal discussion platform to connect groups across the entire Church using the revolutionary characteristics of online networking and web 2.0," said Fr Michael Kelly, Executive Director of Church Resources.
"It's therefore important to respond to the requirements of this broader community by making the site a more dynamic resource to achieve connectivity via a one-stop location," Fr Kelly said.
The languages of FaithTrip represent those which are considered 'official Vatican languages' but with the addition of Polish and German in honour of Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor, John Paul II.
"This is just the beginning," said one FaithTrip Content Manager, Joseph Davies. "Our forward planning aims to include languages from Asia, Africa to the Middle East."
He explained that currently "for each language there is at least one moderator located in their specific countries of origin on call for the needs of their members and site pages from their language group."
Unique among Catholic social networking sites, FaithTrip currently offers personalised blogs, community forums, multimedia sharing, unique videos, music, event calendars, wikis, shopping, news, competitions and more.
The site is hosted by Church Resources key partner Telstra and constructed by Knowledge Community (ACRYN), known for their dedication to cyber-safe platforms and educative considerations.
According to Church Resources, the site was constructed to allow interaction and communication across the entire Church calendar and wider community.
The company developed the project in response to a recommendation by the Australian Bishops Conference, Fr Kelly said.
Faith-based Social Networking Site goes Global (Church Resources, Media Release, 4/6/08)