Irish Church launches app for would-be priests

October 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: After long wait, Facebook set to release iPad app

Related Stories

Yahoo! helps find smartphone 'apps'

June 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.

Apple removes anti-Israel app from App Store

June 23, 2011

(AP) -- Apple Inc. says it has removed an application called "ThirdIntifada" from its App Store following complaints that it glorified violence against Israel.

Recommended for you

Cryptocurrency rivals snap at Bitcoin's heels

January 14, 2018

Bitcoin may be the most famous cryptocurrency but, despite a dizzying rise, it's not the most lucrative one and far from alone in a universe that counts 1,400 rivals, and counting.

Top takeaways from Consumers Electronics Show

January 13, 2018

The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, which concluded Friday in Las Vegas, drew some 4,000 exhibitors from dozens of countries and more than 170,000 attendees, showcased some of the latest from the technology world.

Finnish firm detects new Intel security flaw

January 12, 2018

A new security flaw has been found in Intel hardware which could enable hackers to access corporate laptops remotely, Finnish cybersecurity specialist F-Secure said on Friday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.