Priests across Catholic churches in El Paso did things a little different on Sunday.
Rather than asking people to silence or turn off their phones, they encouraged parishioners to take them out and use them.
It was part of what the Catholic Diocese of El Paso dubbed “Download Sunday.” Parishioners were able to take time out of mass to download the “myParish” phone app.
It’s a free application that lets users subscribe to their parish, access church calendars, mass times, and it also has a feature that can send group messages to the community.
“We will be using this app to communicate with you,” Father at Our Lady of Assumption Saul Pacheco said.
Parishioner Jayda Isaac said she was a little thrown off when Father Pacheco asked them to take out their phones.
“I was confused about what to do. I didn’t know if he was joking or not,” Isaac said. “I think [the app] is cool because you get to know what’s going on with your church.”
19-year-old Luis Ortiz is the ambassador of the app for Our Lady of Assumption. He said the app will help bring the community even closer together — especially the youth.
“Young people aren’t as involved in church,” Ortiz said. “But now that they can actually use this technology within the church, it will uplift them and encourage them to come.”
Ortiz said he appreciates the fact that the diocese is embracing technology.
“We’re in a new era where technology is allowed everywhere, except for church,” Ortiz said. “But now that it’s for church purposes, it’s now acceptable.”
The “myParish” app is available on the Apple App Store or Google Play.