Technology and all things geek can be used for many things. Some are not so good for the mind, body or soul. But the focus of this column is more on the positive, uplifting and generally faith-enriching utilisations.
One of the interesting aspects of technologies like the internet is its ability to provide a view into things not often seen due to remoteness or general obscurity. Take for example, the work of Reverend Zoltan Lendavi.
The chances are pretty high that you have never heard of him. He is the priest of a small town called Redics in Hungary, on the border with Slovenia. Fr Lendavi is also known as the “skateboarding priest”. He has this title due to a video on YouTube (http://bit.ly/skateboardingpriest) where he shows some tricks and skateboarding control to a group of local teenagers. His story is that he models himself on St John Bosco who used to use magic tricks and other entertainment mainstays to help with educating underprivileged children.
The interesting thing is that Fr Lendavi could simply have been left to relative obscurity in Hungary, entertaining some teenagers and making a difference at a local level. In any other century, this would almost certainly have been the limit of his impact. However, since one of the kids videoed his escapades and uploaded it to YouTube, he has received over 750,000 views of his video! And the comments show the impact he has had – comments like (excuse the spelling) “Im Atheist But…That Man Is Rly Cool o.o!”, “why ours priest doesn’t do that? ”, “Let us thank all the priests who have dedicated their lives to serve the world.”
All from one priest, riding a skateboard in a full cassock. Proof positive that YouTube is not just funny videos of cats chasing laser pointers.