As director of information systems services at the Roman Catholic Diocese of London, Joseph Edward has converted parishioners and priests alike into believers in the value of marrying technology and religion.
Developed in-house, the Our Parish Family application lets parishes keep and share information on the faithful as both congregants and priests move from church to church. Edward's organization shares the application with other dioceses across Canada to help get the word out. Here, he talks about the necessity for the application and touches on his broad-ranging plans to further the diocese's reach via a Web portal and telecom improvements.
The best advice Edward ever got came from his mother and had nothing to do with technology. In 1983, she urged him to leave Sri Lanka for Nigeria to escape the coming race riots. As a youngster, he wanted to be a priest but abandoned that dream, first to teach high school chemistry and then for IT. He left corporate life for the Diocese of London, Ontario, to fulfill his own religious mission and spread the church's message using technology.
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This was first published in June 2008