Archive for the ‘Technology’ category

Website vs Facebook

November 19, 2010

That’s the choice that biz guru Guy Kawasaki addresses in this article.  Very interesting.

Blog from the heart of the Church

April 14, 2010

The Vatican news blog. Introduced in this Zenit article.

Christmas wish list

December 24, 2009

Just received an email from Santa’s Logistics elf advising me that they were unable to fit my two requests on his sled this year:  the Livescribe Smartpen and the Alurunner sled.  Bummer!

What’s on your wish list?

Tweets for Priests

June 23, 2009

Check out Fr. Roderick von Hoegen’s Worldwide Twitter campaign for Priests. What’s twitter you ask?  “Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?” It is the fastest growing social network in the world right now (right now anyway).  So this use is kind of like a chain letter to get every single person in the world praying for priests every day.  I don’t know about you but I always need reminders to pray for specific intentions.  So if someone in the twitter audience says “I’m praying for priestly vocations right now”, it serves as a reminder to pray and encourage each other to pray for it. It’s one of those internet things that is hard to grasp the utility of until you start using it.  Either way, it’s a neat way to promote vocations and out catholic identity.

During the Kickoff for the twitter event, Fr. Roderick got to interview his Bishop and talked about the need for ‘crowd-sourcing’ this kind of prayer-reminder…(extended quote)

“I asked him how many priests do they need in the Diocese of Utrecht.  There are over one million Catholics in this Diocese and they have gone from having over 350 parishes.  Now within the span of two years time they are bringing those parishes to 48 mega-parishes consisting of 7-12 churches for each parish.  According to projections, 5 years from now there will be only 50 priests left in the whole diocese who still have the age and energy to work on the parish level.  50 priests for over 300 churches.  I could not guarantee a mass in every church every week, it’s impossible.  So one week I will go to 3 churches and the next to 2 or 3 other churches.  In between they have these services where they get together and just listen to the word of God, or you’ve got these parishioners who have got to travel from one church to another in order to have the Eucharist.  And of course that is a very damaging situation in the long run because as soon as you’re not present in a certain part of town, after a while some people start to stay at home.  Only the very motivated people continue to travel between those churches, and you lose kind of the access to the parishioners who need that extra support and the nearby presence to sustain their faith.  For example there are people who are just getting to know the Catholic church, and they might not necessarily have that motivation yet to travel from one place to another in order to attend Mass.  We will lose the opportunity to cater to their needs and to strengthen their faith, and so this is not a very good situation.  The Bishop said his ideal would be to have at least 3 priests for every mega-parish.  And still that is not much considering that most parishes consist of 12 churches.  3 priests is not a luxury.  So we will need 100 new priests just for that.

That is a lot, especially considering the climate in the Netherlands where religion is completely marginalized, and there is a huge huge violent war going on against Christians, and against Catholics in particular.  Where we have almost completely disappeared from the streets.  I want to wear my priestly vestments in public because I want to show this country we’re not a pagan country, and there are still people who give their lives to the church, and who believe in it.  And that wanna be Catholic and that wanna be Priests.  I think we’ve made ourselves invisible for far too long, and that we’re chicken — we’re afraid.  We don’t wanna engage in the dialogue, because we’re afraid of the war.  We’re afraid of that Spiritual battle.  And as soon as we start proclaiming our message, there will be opposition.  SO as long as you are comfortable.  As long as you are in your comfort zone where no-body’s bothering you, you’re DOING SOMETHING WRONG as a Christian.  IT is only when people are starting to attack you that you are probably on the right track and that you are probably saying the truth.  Not always, but its probably a general rule that you can not proclaim the word of God without meeting fierce opposition.

But in this very difficult climate where the Catholic church has kind of retreated within the confines of their church buildings, it is very hard for young people to recognize the call to the priesthood.  And so it seems like ‘mission impossible’ for the vocations committee to help the Bishop kind of find those 100 new priests.  And that is why he launched this new Twitter campaign.  He said ” I want to tap into the solidarity of this worldwide Catholic church.”  We are one church whether you live in the United States or Australia or in Canada or in Europe or in Africa or South America or wherever.  WE are part of that same family.  If you are part of a family and your brother or sister has a problem or is ill, what do you do?  You help as much as you can.  And I think with prayer it is the same thing.  We are struggling tremendously, we’re not the only Diocese with these problems.  I think a lot of the Dioceses in Western Europe are having hug huge fears for the future.  I read just this morning in the newspaper that in half of Belgium, the dutch part – flanders.  They had only one new priest.  And we’re talking about 6-7 million Catholics.  One priestly ordination last year.  NO more candidates.  Thatis a disaster, that country is 95% catholic with one priest for 6 Dioceses.  We need to support eachother right now.  It is 5 min. to 12, if we don’t find these priests right now our sacramental life will disappear.

My bishop said yesterday we need priests because we need the Eucharist.  The Eucharist is our only source, it is what we live from, it is what we are.  If we don’t have the Eucharist then there is no life in the church.  So he put out the call by twittering and he hopes that people will re-tweet that call for prayer.  I hope that you will join me in that call for prayer.”

Sanctifying your iPhone experience

May 27, 2009

For some time now I have had an iPhone surgically implanted in my hand.  Without offering an official GOTR product endorsement, I would just like to say it is a fabulous telephone and computer all rolled into one.  If you have been living under a rock and are unaware, there are thousands of programs written for it to do everything from track your Fedex packages, to playing Pac Man, to locating the nearest speed trap in relation to your current location.  Nifty stuff.  But I have found great value in the ever-growing collection of religious applications that can help ‘keep your eyes on the prize.’

Although there are MANY, I will just tell you about a few I have on my phone:

First up is iRosary:  This is probably one of the best designed iPhone apps I have ever used (and I’ve used many).    It offers the complete set of mysteries including the chaplet of Divine Mercy in four languages, including Latin.  There are options for whether you like to say the fatima prayer, as well as the luminous mysteries.  You can choose any mystery you like, or allow the program to select the appropriate mystery for the liturgical period.  And if you are interrupted in prayer — it saves your spot.  The program features 168 different rosaries you can choose from and displays a fully-animated set of Rosary beads that flows across your hand as you move it with your finger, like a standard Rosary.  All in all, it is a very cool aid in learning the rosary.  And its only $0.99!

Next up is Universalis.  This is the liturgy of the hours as seen on Universalis.com.  A fantastic app, that puts the whole LOH on your iphone — no downloading of content is necessary.   Although no hymns are included, it is really great as it gives you information about the saint of the day.  Plus it doubles as a Liturgical Calendar, so you will always know what day Pentecost is on, and includes Daily Mass Reading as well as the Office of Readings for you early risers.   The translation used is the New Jerusalem Bible, so don’t try to follow along with your Brothers who are using the four volume book set (yes, I’ve tried — just ask Walt).  This one is a bit pricey at $29, but it’s much cheaper than the books, and you will always have it with you, so no excuses!

Similar to Universalis is iBreviary.  A bit prettier, written by an italian priest and vatican-approved to boot.  It is a lot cheaper, weighing in at $.99 but must dial into the ‘mothership’ to download the hours and readings appropriate for the day.  It’s a little tricky as it starts out in Italian, and you have to navigate over to translate it into English, but once you do– voila, you have the ICEL English translations!  Sadly, though it only allows you to use the current day’s prayers and readings.  Not so helpful if you want to bone up on the upcoming Mass readings for example.

Lastly, is the youversion Bible.  This program (FREE) allows you to choose from a variety of (Protestant) Bible Translations, and even perform searches for names, keywords and the like.  But of course, the best part is that it is FREE, unlike the NAB version which I believe costs $14, and you can only see one translation.  It has a suggested Daily reading plan that will eventually take you through the whole book, allows you to place bookmarks, and has a ‘forum of sorts for people to post thoughts on different verses.  This last bit I don’t find very useful at all, and as a consequence of our modern relativism makes the title a bit funny, but you can’t beat the price.

How do you try and sanctify your daily experience?