This may be a first: archbishop preaches in Rome basilica from an iPad


Being a bishop means being no stranger to debates and challenges, but also knowing the joy of sharing the faith, said Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami.

“We know a little bit about controversy and dissension, but like (St.) Paul we know also the joy not only of having encountered the Lord, we also know the joy of sharing him with others,” he said.

The archbishop was the homilist May 9 at a Mass at Rome’s Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. He and other bishops of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina were joined by dozens of pilgrims from the region, including a violinist, trumpet player, organist and cantor from the Archdiocese of Miami.

The Mass was part of the bishops’ “ad limina” visits to Rome and the Vatican.

In his homily, which he read from his iPad since he said he did not have a printer available, Archbishop Wenski said the “ad limina” visits are an occasion to consult with Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican officials, but even more they are an opportunity for the bishops to reaffirm their faith and strengthen their unity.

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  • awashingtondccatholic

    Remember, it is just a medium in which to convey a message — like paper. I have used my mobile device to help me say the rosary, when I cannot remember the mysteries of the day.

  • Peter

    I have seen two priests in two different parishes using iPads at Mass. I wonder if they wil start incensing the iPad like the sacred books?

  • Domenico Bettinelli

    I’ve seen in various places that one cannot use any kind of computer as a sacramentary or lectionary during Mass. Items used in the liturgy must be consecrated and set aside for the purpose. A device like an iPad is inherently not set aside for the purpose. Even if it never leaves the altar and only has the one app on it, someday it could be moved to another place and used for, say, kids’ playthings in the car or to watch all kinds of TV shows or movies. That would certainly be inappropriate.

    But as device from which to read a homily or to pray the Divine Office or the Rosary, there should be no objection there.

  • Romulus

    Not unless priests start incensing their homily notes, which I don’t expect. C’mon, is this really a big deal? I know a young priest now studying in Rome, who preaches from his iPad. Why not?

  • Deacon Greg Kandra

    The only sacred book that gets incensed is the Book of the Gospels.

  • Deacon Steve

    Rome has approved the iMissal for use in celebrating the mass with the new Roman Missal. I will accept thier authority. My only suggestion would be to put it into some sort of cover that would appear dignified.

  • Deacon Bill

    We have a couple of nice red leather covers that we use in our parish. They work quite well. We use the iPads at the chair, and keep the Roman Missal for use at the altar. The reason was practical: the edition of the Roman Missal which was purchased was far too large and unwieldy for the majority of our altar servers, who are rather small.

    God bless,
    Deacon Bill

  • Dcn Mike

    I upload my homilies to my Kindle Touch, and prop it up on the ambo on a slight angle. No one can see it. That way I can keep mostly eye contact, and am not turning pages.

  • Deacon Greg Kandra

    I have a Kindle Fire, but I’ve never tried uploading documents onto it.

    One trick for homilies that I heard when I was in formation: only print on the top half of the page. That way your eye never wanders too far from people.

    (I’ve never tried that, but I do use 16 points type, and am able to read my homilies at a glance, using the text mostly as a reference point and road map.)


  • jplacette

    I have seen the iPad used for Morning Prayer in community several times and have toyed with the idea of using it for other services. Not a bad idea!!!

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