Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An App for the Priesthood

The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has come up with a novel solution to its growing shortage of priests - an iPhone App intended to guide young people toward vocations within the church. The App includes information on the dioceses of Ireland, frequently asked questions about joining the priesthood, and connections to social media outlets associated with the church.

The new 'Vocations' app was designed by Father Paddy Rushe and developed by the company Magic Time Apps, based in Dublin. It is available to download for free from the Apple iPhone App Store, said the church.

Some of the features of the app, according to the church, are: Connection to Twitter and Facebook; Social networking at the service of vocations; Contact details and statistics on the 26 dioceses of Ireland; Frequently asked questions to assist a person to discern his vocation; News feed running from the national vocations website; Novel and cursory 'tests' to enable the user to reflect on vocation potential.

"Future updates will include a "prayer counter" to allow people pledge a period of prayer for vocations and a picture gallery which will include some images from the life of a seminarian," the church statement said.

This reminds me a bit of an April Fools prank from back in 1994, which claimed that Microsoft planned to merge with the Roman Catholic Church in order to "bring the services of Catholicism to the desktop." The church now appears to be moving toward such a future on its own, at least as far as smartphones are concerned. iConfession is apparently already a reality, and one wonders if iConversion or iCommunion might be on the way.

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