HIGH TECH EVANGELIZATION! Pray as you go to spread the Catholic Word via mobiles
By MURDO MACLEOD
GLASGOW, Mar. 26, 2006 (news.scotsman.com) - GIVE us this day our daily text. The Roman Catholic Church in Scotland is about to score a UK first by urging followers to pray, protest and ponder via their mobile phones.
The nation's 270,000 active Catholics will be offered the unique text message service, which will send out everything from church news to requests to pray.
The service will even attempt to mobilise followers by advising them of radio and television talk shows on moral issues, urging them to call in.
The Church will distribute 100,000 flyers over the next month in an effort to get people to sign up for the new service, which will be free to subscribers and operated by IT-savvy volunteers from the Scottish Catholic Church's headquarters in Glasgow.
Those who sign up will deliver news about appointments in the Church and also ask the faithful to pray for leaders and people in distress. According to a spokesman, examples could include subscribers being given the first name of a pregnant woman in two minds about whether to keep a baby or have an abortion, and asked to pray on her behalf.
The service will also alert Scotland's Catholics to opportunities to air their views, such as radio talk shows discussing issues including euthanasia and abortion.
Subscribers will be alerted to radio shows a few minutes before they are broadcast, and told the phone number to call in order to get on air and make their views known.
Scotland has about 700,000 Roman Catholics, of whom about 230,000 regularly attend services. The leadership estimate they will get at least 20,000 regular subscribers to the service, with the costs expected to be borne by the Church's communications budget.