Irish Church launches app for would-be priests

Oct 17, 2011

The Catholic Church in Ireland launched a new app on Monday for young men who are thinking of joining the priesthood, taking a technological leap to reverse four decades of declining vocations.

The free "Vocations" app is designed to help users reflect on whether the clerical life is for them, including rating themselves how much they think about others, and questions about celibacy and relationships.

Launching the app, Bishop Donal McKeown admitted some people may regard it as a "churchy gimmick that will try to give the impression of modernity to something that is passe".

"I know that, for very many young people in modern Ireland, the word 'vocation' is not a meaningful term and they have little idea what clergy do, other than for an hour or two on Sundays," he said.

"But the social media is where young people are."

The number of new priests in Ireland has been declining for 40 years, not helped in recent decades by clerical sex scandals that have shocked the mainly Catholic country as well as Catholic communities across the world.

The new app offers not just questions about vocational potential, but also information about life as a priest and contact details for dioceses.

McKeown, the auxiliary bishop of Down and Connor and chairman of the bishop's Vocations Commission, admitted that he felt "a little out of his depth" being asked to launch an app.

"I may be on , but I'm a BlackBerry man myself and yesterday I had to ask a nephew -- who's a quarter of my age -- what an App is," he said.

"But I suppose it is a bit like baptising a child -- you can do something for it even if you haven't been part of its creation!"

The was designed by Father Paddy Rushe, who has been national coordinator for diocesan vocations, and developed by Dublin's Magic Time Apps.

Explore further: Android gains in US, basic phones almost extinct

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Yahoo! helps find smartphone 'apps'

Jun 16, 2011

Yahoo! has begun helping people navigate the sea of applications available for Apple iPhones or mobile gadgets powered by Google-backed Android software.

Recommended for you

Android gains in US, basic phones almost extinct

Apr 18, 2014

The Google Android platform grabbed the majority of mobile phones in the US market in early 2014, as consumers all but abandoned non-smartphone handsets, a survey showed Friday.

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

Apr 17, 2014

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Microsoft CEO is driving data-culture mindset

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —Microsoft's future strategy: is all about leveraging data, from different sources, coming together using one cohesive Microsoft architecture. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday, both in ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

(Phys.org) —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...