We KNEW this was coming–using phone in church looks scandalous

My husband and I received a gentle but firm reprimand from a dear fellow parishioner. It came in the form of a note in the mail.


We KNEW this probably was on people’s minds. We are glad this person was bold enough to offer charitable advice. How would you respond? Should you use your Missal app at Mass?

In our view, each generation brings new technological advances to make participation in the sacraments easier (electric lights, contact lenses, hearing aids, air conditioning, loud speakers, microphones et. al.). To us, these little programs which put the text of the Mass in the palm of our hands are part of the evolution.

We wrote a kind response explaining what we are reading on our phones –the iMissal app. We gave a brief description of some of the great Missal apps out there which help us to participate in the Liturgy with greater ease (especially for our aging eyes)! We apologized for the distraction, nevertheless. We have encouraged our pastor to talk openly about the use of Missal apps during Mass. It’s time. Thumbs up or thumbs down. But let everyone know what’s going on.

Your thoughts?

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Categories: Blog for Catholic Apptitude

Author:Jennifer Kane

Content Evangelist, Jennifer Kane, is a secular Carmelite (OCDS), wife, mother, grandmother who worked for more than 30 years in marketing/communications which included 20 years in radio broadcasting including news director. She holds degrees in Journalism/Communication (BA) and English (MA) from St. Bonaventure University. In 2016 she authored the Vatican application for minor basilica status for The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Olean, New York. Pope Francis granted that title in 2017. Research on the basilica formed the basis of her history book, A Place Set Apart. She previously authored the book, A Worthy and Capable Clergyman, the second part of the history book in a slightly different format. She is founder and editor of the website, CatholicAPPtitude.org, the #1 English language website cataloging/reviewing Catholic apps for mobile devices.

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3 Comments on “We KNEW this was coming–using phone in church looks scandalous”

  1. Kris
    September 5, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    My friend uses a iPad with the mass on it, and no one question her. Knowledge is key. The church should give new insight

  2. December 19, 2015 at 12:47 am #

    I am a Catholic priest and I find it very irritating when parishioners (or rather visitors to our parish) use their smart phones to follow the Mass. (Regulars in our parish know the rules regarding mobile phones). While the intention of our visitors may be good, they simply are not focussing on the Mass as it being celebrated. Instead, they are in their own little private individualistic world of technology. We really ought to detach ourselves from these devices when we come into the house of God. The Scriptures and the Mass parts are meant to be listened to, not read. While many have lost the art of listening, it is something that our churches should encourage through good lectors, articulate homilies etc.

    Further, who knows what a person is doing with their mobile phone during Mass? Anything at all. It is also a bad witness to others, especially our young, to be constantly distracted by devices at a time when our full concentration should be directed to the holy of holies, which is NOT on a screen, but rather in the church where the sacred mysteries are being offered.


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