I just recently got around to a task I've been wanting to complete for quite some time: I have set up a (very rough, so far) feed on archstl.org listing ALL the parishes, and including their GeoRSS location data.

I'm thinking of building out a standard for parish XML information—including things like contact information, website address, etc.—so that hundreds of different parish directories/databases could be, someday, merged into one open database.

Right now there's:

  • http://catholic-mass-times.com/
  • http://www.parishesonline.com/scripts/default.asp
  • http://www.thecatholicdirectory.com/
  • http://www.churchmasstimes.com/
  • http://www.catholicweb.com/
  • ...and many others

Not to mention, hundreds of diocesan websites, parish websites, etc. that have duplicate (and often incorrect) data. Wouldn't it be amazing if parishes and dioceses could adopt a universal standard for sharing parish and sacramental information?

No longer would an already beleaguered parish secretary get 8 phone calls and 5 emails a year asking to update parish information across 20 different directories.

I can dream, can't I?