Not that anyone who’s been on the Crux site today needs me to point this out, but we’ve got a new look.

Most notably, we’re now featuring five lead items rather than three in order to expand the range of important stories immediately available when readers come on the site. In part, that larger capacity is important because of a series of big stories we’re going to be covering over the next few months.

Here’s a partial list of where Crux reporters are going to be:

  • The World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland, August 21-26, culminating with Pope Francis’s trip to Ireland. We’ll have five journalists on the ground before and after, including our Rome Bureau Chief, Inès San Martìn, on the papal plane. You’ll also want to check out our partners and friends at the DeSales Media Group in the Diocese of Brooklyn, whose “Currents” news program will be providing on-air coverage and commentary, and whose print publications the Tablet and Nuestra Voz also will have full coverage.
  • Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, Sept. 4-10, where San Martìn and I will be covering the latest developments in Catholicism Down Under, including the aftermath of Archbishop Philip Wilson’s resignation following a conviction for failure to report child abuse and Cardinal George Pell’s looming trial for “historical sexual offenses.”
  • The Eucharist Congress sponsored by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales in Liverpool Sept. 7-9. Charles Collins, our managing editor, will be on the story from start to finish.
  • The V National Encuentro, America’s largest summit of Hispanic Catholics, in Fort Worth, Texas, Sept. 20-23. Among other things, more than 100 U.S. bishops are expected to be in attendance. San Martìn and Chris White, our national correspondent, will have comprehensive coverage.
  • Pope Francis’s trip to the Baltics Sept. 22-25, the cities of Vilnius and Kaunas in Lithuania; Riga and Aglona in Latvia; and Tallinn in Estonia. Claire Giangravè, our Rome-based Faith and Culture correspondent, will be on the papal plane.
  • The Synod of Bishops on Youth and Vocational Discernment in Rome Oct. 3-28. We’ll have five reporters on the story, led by our Rome team of San Martìn, Giangravè and senior correspondent Elise Harris.
  • The Oct. 14 canonizations of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador and Pope Paul VI in Rome. Our entire synod team will also be on this story, bringing full coverage before, during and after the canonization ceremony.
  • The annual general assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore, Maryland, Nov. 12-15, a summit that clearly takes on added significance this year in the wake of the scandals involving ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. White will be on the scene for Crux.
  • The traditional Christmas and New Year’s events in Rome, a season which informally begins with the pope’s annual address to the Roman Curia in mid-December and ends with his yearly speech to the diplomatic corps in mid-January. I’ll be on hand for all of it, joined by members of our regular Rome crew.
  • World Youth Day in Panama January 22-27, 2019, a massive gathering that’s the closest thing the Catholic Church has to the Olympic Games. Pope Francis will be there and so will Crux, anchored by coverage from San Martìn and White.

It’s exhausting just listing all of that activity, but at least it’s clear why we need the extra elbow room on the home page.

Other changes you’ll notice include new “Latest By” sections for Collins and Harris, making their terrific reporting more easily accessible. Also, rather than a generic “Global Church” tab, there are now separate sections for the “Americas”, including Latin America, Canada, and the Caribbean; “Asia/Oceania”; and “UK/Ireland” as distinct from “Europe”. All are places Crux covers on a regular basis, in part because of our network of correspondents.

This overhaul, and all the travel and reporting driving it, are part of our efforts to deliver on our pledge to provide the very best in smart, wired and independent Catholic journalism.

Needless to say, these efforts don’t come cheap. (Our lodging bills alone for the next six months or so probably will put a few hoteliers’ kids through college.) If you enjoy Crux’s 24/7 coverage of all things Catholic, we’d love to have your support. I can promise that even an amount that may seem negligible to you won’t feel that way to us.

In the meantime, please keep reading Crux … there are exciting, important months ahead, and we’ll be there at every step of the way to bring you the story.