A local priest is more advanced than most with his technology and is now using an iPad during Mass service
Fr Paddy Rushe, 42, based in the Redeemer Parish uses an iPad during masses,calls people using the iPhone 4, navigates himself around the country using a Sat Nav and is an iPhone App inventor.
“I’ve always been a bit of techy geek,” Fr Rushe told The Democrat.”I just enjoy the possibilities that technology can give us such as communication and knowledge it’s just fantastic really. As soon as the iPad came out I got it because it just grabbed my attention the idea of having everything at your finger tips.”
It’s not everyday you see a priest using an iPad and rising eyebrows is a frequent sight seen by Fr Rushe.
“I get funny looks from people all the time, they think I’m a bit mad, especially local parishioners. I write my sermons on it every week, I put the Prays of the Faithful on it. I have the 700 page missal on it easily accessible,” he explains.
“Recently somebody asked me to say the Prayer for Good Weather and instantly I was able to use it. The congregation see the guy with the iPad and that projects a more modern feel to Mass.
“When I go to school, nursing homes or house Masses I bring it with me, it’s much handier having everything on the one page. I use it to celebrate weddings and a lot of couples and the guests get a real tickle out of it saying here’s this guy with an iPad,” he added.
Fr Rushe is an avid user of technology saying “I’ve got the iPad, iPhone 4 and an iMac computer and I love how they all integrate together. I do have a recorder, digital radio and a Sat Nav in the car.”
With iPads costing quite a few euro, Fr Rushe reveals that saving money over time is key.
“They are costly. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t have any overheads such as a mortgage so I’m able to save a little bit as time goes on.”
Last year during Fr Rushe invented an iPhone App, the first of its kind in the world in a bid to boost vocations. The app includes a test section where the user can see how suitable they may be for the priesthood by talking a special quiz. The test gives a man considering the priesthood as a vocation some food for thought on the sacrifices he would have to make, with questions including ‘Do you have a sense of sacrifice? Do you feel you have a sense of balance in your life? Can you relate easily to men and women?’
“It’s been fantastic. We have over 4,000 downloads of the app, which is good for an app new to the market,” he said.
The energetic priest is ready to take on a new challenge of programming and uses social media.
“I’m on Facebook and Twitter, social media sites give you a light into other people’s lives, if your on twitter people are discussion lots of issues and maybe you can contribute to that discussion and bring in a bit of the gospel message,” he explained.
He concluded saying: ‘There’s so much out there available for your studies and knowledge, not all of it is reliable and you have to be sensible. There are a lot of concerns about the internet and that’s understandable but I think we have to use these things for the good’.