Technology has the power to change the world in incredible ways – bringing information to the masses in a more immediate fashion then ever before. While there is,as with anything in the world, the potential for this resource to be abused, every so often something comes along which reminds you that technology can be a wonderful thing. A case in point is the ‘Prayer Companion’ that the Poor Clares of York have added to their daily prayer life.
The Convent of the Poor Clares of York was founded in 1865, and in those past 155 years they have always prayed for the outside world, with requests for prayer coming to them by post, phone and as of very recently email, via a single solitary computer. However, the Prayer Companion, known as Goldie to the nuns, has changed all this – making the nuns very up-to-the-minute.
The Prayer Companion is a piece of technology that has been designed by the
Interaction Design Studio at Goldsmiths, University of London. It is built to scroll news headlines delivered by RSS to the ticker display along the top from a range of news sites. When the Poor Clares see the messages, they pray for the people they read about.
“It is not there because we’re desperate for news,” says Sister Paul, one of the Poor Clares. “We are here for prayer, for channelling people’s needs to God.”
Not only has this proved to be a boon for the Poor Clares, but it has also had an influence on the designers as well. ‘This is not a dispassionate thing. We’re certainly not humouring the nuns’ says project co-ordinator Bill Gaver, who goes on to concede that his spiritual side sees the impact that prayer can have.
Have you seen technology being used in new and interesting ways? Get in contact with the team at www.catholic.geek.nz and we’ll include it in an upcoming issue!