Coalisland church reaches out to congregation

THERE was a time when the only tablets discussed at church were the ones inscribed with the Ten Commandments, however, a priest is now encouraging his congregation to use the latest electronic devices to follow Mass.

Coalisland’s Holy Family Church has become the first place of worship in Ireland to launch its own application for Android smartphones, as well as Apple and Kindle Fire tablets.

The parish launched the ground-breaking application at the church after Vigil Mass on Saturday night to give parishioners the opportunity to watch religious services and find out the latest parish news.

It is hoped the app, which was the brainchild of Fr Paul Byrne, will appeal to the younger generation as well as to parishioners who are sick or housebound.

Fr Paul Byrne said he believed the free downloadable programme will be popular.

“I’m the chaplain at St Joseph’s Coalisland, and the Integrated College in Dungannon, and I know that practically every pupil has a smartphone these days. We decided that we should focus on smartphones and tablets rather than computers as a means to get our message out there.

“We’re very pleased to be launching the app in this Year of Faith, in response to the Pope’s call to find new ways of communicating with the younger generation.”

The app will be an extension of the parish website but will allow users to access regularly

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updated information direct to their mobile devices.

Depending on the user’s device, live broadcasting of Mass from the parish can be viewed on a daily basis.

“Regular updates and notifications will mean that users will be fully informed of events within the parish”, added Fr Byrne.

“Instant notices will be posted as they happen and there will be direct access to the parish website and Facebook pages. Rotas for parish ministers can also be accessed through the App.”

According to the Coalisland priest, the app can be downloaded free of charge to Android users, iphone & ipad users and those who use the new Kindle Fire.

Simply log in to the parish website at and get the App straight to your phone or Kindle.