Blend of technology, theology gives Catholics inspiration on the go

TIVERTON, R.I. – With the simple tap of a touch screen, Father Jay Finelli has embraced an alternative way to spread the good news.

He is taking his already successful iPadre podcast and making it even more accessible as an iPhone application, so that listeners can easily enjoy interviews, news and music that will help them to grow in faith.

An iPhone application, or app, is a program developed specifically for the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. An application can be downloaded directly to a cell phone, or downloaded to a computer and transferred to the phone.

The new app allows listeners to preview episodes of his podcast, e-mail the pastor of Holy Ghost Church in Tiverton directly, or instantly call in to ask questions.

With about 2,000 listeners a week from all across the world, Father Finelli is hopeful that this new application can be a supplement to the faith of listeners.

“Most people are on the run today,” he noted. “This app puts some inspiration in their pockets. The iPadre is there when they need him.”

Father Finelli said Catholics should embrace this blending of technology and theology.

“Technology is a gift from God,” he told the Rhode Island Catholic, newspaper of the Providence Diocese. “The Lord inspired someone to create, invent these various technologies for a purpose. I don’t think it’s just coincidence in today’s world that we have the ability to reach every corner of the world. How we use this technology is what matters.

“You can bet that the world will use the latest technology, so why not us?” he added. “Embracing technology does not mean that we want it to control our lives, but it is a tool for ministry.”

Technology can be used to teach, encourage and build a community of believers, said Father Finelli.

“There are people who are not able to get to church – shut-ins, handicapped, aged, infirm,” he explained. “All of these people have the possibility of remaining in contact with other Catholics to support their faith and life.”

Setting up an application for iPadre was another opportunity to reach out, Father Finelli explained. He said navigating through the app is simple and easy especially for the “technologically challenged.”

“With the iPadre app, they don’t need to go looking through iTunes, or another podcast catcher, the podcast is there when they want it,” said Father Finelli. “The latest episode is immediately available when it is published and every other episode is at their fingertips.

The app also encourages people to give their feedback by calling the feedback line, sending an e-mail or through Facebook and Twitter.

Customers who purchased the pastor’s $1.99 application have already shared positive reviews on the iTunes app store website.

Barbara from Nebraska said Father Finelli’s new application is a wonderful addition to her iPod Touch.

“What a cool app,” she wrote. “I can have the latest episode right away.”

The app makes it convenient to see the latest podcast because it updates automatically, enabling listeners to hear Father Finelli’s latest news on the church, another customer commented.

“When I get to work and realize I forgot to update my iPhone at home, I can still get the latest iPadre episode,” the subscriber shared.

For more information on the new iPadre app, visit www.ipadre.net or search iPadre in the iTunes store.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.