A Catholic clergyman has come up with the perfect modern day way to attract new priests – a vocations App for the iPhone.
Fr Paddy Rushe has unveiled the new Vocations app, billed as the first in the world, in a bid to attract new priests to his church.
The App is now available to download for free from iTunes App store.
The Vocations App was developed by the Magic Time Apps company in Dublin.
It has been described as: “An original approach to assist current and future generations seeking to investigate and find information on vocations to the diocesan priesthood in Ireland”.
Features of the new App include connections to Twitter and Facebook as well as contact details and statistics on the 26 Catholic dioceses of Ireland.
One section of the new App deals with frequently asked questions from those interested in pursuing a vocation.
The App also features a news feed from the national vocations’ website, as well as ‘novel and cursory’ tests relating to the user’s vocation potential.
“These tests explore lifestyle issues and are intended to help a candidate assess his overall aptitude for the priesthood,” said Fr Rushe.
“The candidate is rated on a scale when it came to thinking of others, a desire to provide a service, and his abilities in relating to the marginalised.”
A celibacy test is also featured involving ‘questions on discipline in a candidate’s life, what he believed about relationships, as well as balance where alcohol and food were concerned’. Details on life in a seminary are also included.
The App is a direct response to the alarming fall in vocations in Ireland.
Future plans to improve the App include a prayer counter to allow people pledge prayer for vocations, and a picture gallery which will include images from the life of a seminarian.
“I am a bit of a techie and I am on Twitter and Facebook,” added Fr Rushe. “The Church needs to be there, accessible to all.”
The Vocations App was launched in Naas by Bishop Donal McKeown, auxiliary bishop of Down and Connor and chairman of the vocations commission of the Irish Bishops’ Conference.
Fr Rushe has also handed over the role of national co-ordinator for diocesan vocations to Fr Willie Purcell after five years in the job.