Praying with New Media

Diocesan Pastoral Council 

Praying with New Media   -  Universalis, Catholic calendar
The prayer of the church, the Divine office. This is the most used app on my phone and iPad. I use it to easily access the divine office which is a lovely way to pray. I also use it as a missal for weekday and Sunday Mass.  You can build iBooks for reading on kindle and other devices. Available on android, iOS, PC and Mac.

Pray as you go  -

My current favourite app delivers Podcasts daily to your phone, 10mins of music, reflections and scripture to guide you in your prayer. Available on iOS and android, as well as a podcast and website.

Twitter is a micro social medial site. It allows people to share 140 character messages and photos with the world. It's very ego centric as you collect followers. However it is a great source of news, inspiration and a way to profess your faith. You can follow parishioners, evangelists, bishops and the Pope. If you want you can follow me @JohnCScanlon  If you follow me you can look at who I follow 50% are Christian tweeters  you may want to follow.

Similar to twitter but you collect friends instead of followers and you are not limited to 140 characters. Facebook allows friends, families and communities to share things going on in their lives. Why not share your faith or be inspired by other sharing theirs. Many organisations have quality Facebook pages. Look at the CWL page.

Pray traditional prayers in a different way

Just search the apps stores or google for the prayers you are looking for. I particularly like iRosary and StationsOfTheCross, but there are lots out there.

iRosary: This rosary app allows you to pray with a beautiful app giving you all the words of each prayer so if you don't know this prayer forwards, backwards and sidewinders the app will lead you through it easily. It's a wonderful way to spend the train ride between Parkway and Swindon.
StationsOfTheCross: This app leads you through the Stations of the Cross with reflections and images.

Confession apps - iConfess

A few years ago every news station was carry news of confession apps. These are not tools to let you confess without a priest but are preparation tools. They give you a chance to reflect on what you want to talk about in confession and if you like they will remind you while you are in confession. You might get a strange look but then again you might not the priest I first used is app with was very interested and we had a good chat about it after the sacrament of reconciliation.

Free candle app - Free Candle

I like the simplicity of this app. All it does is display a burning candle on the screen, but in an office you probably can light a candle and this can give you something to focus on.

Blogs and websites

My blog can be found at on it you will find homilies I have preached and articles on things I feel the need to write about. Many Christians, deacons, religious, priests and bishops blog or run web sites. Your parish probably has a web site. Visit them often if you like, the authors can see the numbers of people visiting and your visit encourages them to keep writing. Learn to comment on them if they allow it and encourage those authors proclaiming The Lord. is the Vatican website where you can follow news from the Vatican and get access to all the papal documents and council documents. A book of the documents from Vatican II would cost you £10 but they are all free on this site. There are also apps which enable access to all the same content.

A Bible

I have used pocketsword for a long time but there are lots of other. Pocket sword lets you have multiple translation and commentaries. Really useful if you are leading anything and get a difficult question as you can search the passage and then check several translation and several commentaries to help you answer. You have to download the different bibles separately, many are free but some have to be paid for.

There are many bible apps out there find one that works for you.
Also consider a kindle or ebook, or the kindle app. That way you can buy an electronic copy of the bible to read. I would recommend a reading bible like The Message which is a little different in language terms to the bible readings you hear at church. Unfortunately I haven’t found a CTS bible electronically yet.

Also, consider an mp3 version of the bible. You can listen to this while sitting on the bus, driving to work or walking the dog. The bible has a verbal tradition; it's been written to be heard.

Homily 28th Sunday Ordinary Time Year A - The heavenly banquet.

Homily (sermon)
The Heavenly Banquet

Readings for the twenty eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time Year A:
Isaiah 25:6-10, Psalm 22, Philippians 4:12-14,19-20, Matthew 22:1-14

[All these readings can be found at for the next few weeks. Remember to scroll down for the readings of the day.]

We are invited today to banquet of rich food and fine wine. A banquet that will be held on God’s mountain. At this banquet death and shame will be lifted from us, our sadness turned to joy, our tears wiped away. We will live like Adam and Eve in paradise. We are today invited to share heaven with God.

Do you like the sound of that?

Do you think you will RSVP to that invitation?

Will you go to the banquet?

Jesus was very worried that we wouldn’t come, that we would lose our way and get distracted. That this world would get in the way, that we wouldn’t believe the invitation. So he told the priests and elders a couple of parables. In the first parable the king calls those invited to the banquet but they don’t come and even worse attack the kings messengers. That’s easy to interpret, it’s aimed at Gods chosen people Israel, as they turn their back on God and don’t accept his invitation. Then wonderfully God offers the invitation to everyone, to us the gentiles, we are now able to come to Gods heavenly banquet.

The second parable strikes me much harder, I don’t like it. It seems unfair. The people now come and enjoy the banquet, but one man isn’t wearing a wedding garment and just because of his clothes is thrown out. That scares me as I want to be at that banquet, I want to stay at that banquet, I don’t want to be thrown out. How do I ensure I wear the right clothes?

Well the clothes represent your life, or at least your life since accepting the invitation, your life since you accepted the gift of grace. Your clothes and your life are washed white at baptism, kept clean by the life you lead and the sacraments, particularly reconciliation and the Eucharist.

We all do wrong, we all sin, we all ruin the clothes we will wear to the banquet. God knows that, which is why he never stops forgiving, never stops showering us in grace. By accepting his grace we become responsible for our lives, we must try and live lives worthy of that grace, to be proud and grateful for the clothes God has given us. Clothes that through Grace, are so easy to clean so easy to repair.

The next question is then what should I be doing in my new clothes. Well today’s psalm can help, psalm 22, is one of my favourites. It’s often read at baptisms and speaks wonderfully of the lifelong protection God provides. Today the last verse has stood out for me, I have often drawn comfort from the line, “Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life.” But today I read it differently; today I found a challenge it that line. Maybe it means I am challenged to provided goodness and kindness all of my days, it follows me because I am supposed to leave a trail of goodness and kindness. If I dwell with the lord, my life is His, I have a responsibility to live a life filled with the grace he has given me. When I fail I can always turn back to Him and always be forgiven, but when I succeed what differences can I make to this damaged world, how can I do my bit to help Gods kingdom come, on earth as it is at the banquet on that mountain in heaven.

Homily Index