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Use smartphones, archdiocese tells laity 

Kochi: Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly has asked its members to get smartphones, and become more technology savvy.

The advice comes ahead of the Syro-Malabar archdiocese’s plans to get its 100,000 families networked through a mobile application that was launched in March this year.

Auxiliary Bishop Sebastian Edyanthrath of Ernakulam-Angamaly said in a circular that smartphones brought information to one’s fingertips, and it was necessary that all members of the archdiocese got them. The circular was read out in parishes on September 10 during Sunday Masses.

Bishop also said that every parish must have access to 3G/4G Internet connection, and be equipped with printers, scanners, and other equipment.

Sources in the archdiocese said that a large number of the archdiocesan members had already used the mobile application r to access services and information.

But the authorities are keen to bring the whole community within the network by the end of this year. “It will help improve familial and interpersonal relations besides helping the faithful access services from their locations,” sources added.

The Ernakulam-Angamaly is the largest diocese in Kerala and the second largest in India after Bombay Latin archdiocese. Of its 516,000 members, an estimated 100,00 live abroad – in the Persian Gulf countries, Europe, North America, New Zealand and Australia.

Sources said that as of now around 70 services could be accessed using the network with each family having a login id and password. “They will be able to apply for certificates, schedule attendance at courses organised by the archdiocese, make payments and donations, trace members of their families, pledge organ donations, and even locate the tomb of a long-dead relative from any part of the world,” they said.

Expected to link up the entire archdiocese in December, the network took about six years of research and four years of preparation

Of the 264 parishes with priest residences, 222 have completed the preliminary stage of the program. The auxiliary bishop’s circular says that nearly 64,000 families and 271,00 members have already registered in the mobile application.

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