Catholic churches use technology to accept donations

The Catholic Church has always been steeped in tradition and not technology.

On Saturday, two Catholic churches will break from tradition and take a step toward the digital age by adding a touch pad on a stand, called a kiosk, for people to make credit-card donations to the church or to other El Paso Catholic Diocese ministries.

“Passing the basket and taking those gifts to the altar is a very important part of the Mass. And we will have cards that say ‘I gave at the kiosk.’ But we have to meet people where they are, and younger people do everything electronically,” said Janine Young, chief executive officer of the Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso.

The lead sentence is mistaken. The Church has usually been at the forefront of technology. The Gothic cathedrals were technologically the latest things in new tech.

I find it irritating when articles such as these try to paint the church at large as being “stuck in the past” or “disconnected from the modern world”.

It’s all part of the subtle background indoctrination to get readers to think of the Church as outdated and obsolete, which is patently false.

I’ve used the Parish Pay app for several years to tithe. It’s awesome. I am even able to make special donations on specific dates to honor my family or a favorite saint. The Church has always been on the forefront of science, especially a few good Jesuit astrophysicists!:smiley:

Why? Do you think the Church is not secularized enough?

No, that is not what I am saying. What I believe is that the Church can take advantage of many, or all, modern technological or thought innovations without losing its orthodoxy or sanctity.

The world, in an attempt to make worldliness more attractive, tries to make it look like the Church is trapped in archaic technological customs, and can’t advance in scientific knowledge, experience, or use.

This conflation of orthodoxy to old-fashioned"ness" is one of the great dangers to the Church’s ability to evangelize to the modern world.

How does one go from honoring family/saint to Jesuit science? Is there a connection there? Just asking.

I still think there is more meaning when you give during the offertory. Or maybe now people feel they can buy their way to heaven without having to attend Mass?

I do feel weird that I don’t even put in an envelope in the basket anymore. I used to, marking “I have given online,” on it, but then the parish said they could stop printing envelopes, which would save them some money. You can even give online for the second collection efforts.

I do give my children a small amount every Sunday to put in.

I actually like the card idea - make them sturdy and reusable, and people could just take one when they arrive and put it in the basket, then they can be out again the next week, and so on.

One thing I do like about online donations is that even if I have to miss Mass, or if I’m out of town and attending elsewhere, that my parish still gets our regular donation.

I don’t know about saving money. Companies like charge like 10% of the amount donated for the cost of running their site and processing the contributions. And don’t forget not everyone gives money. I’ve seen gift certificates, coupons, and other such items in the collection baskets.

Ours is through OSV; I would expect the overhead is quite low (not only because it’s them, but because I fully expect the parish to have done their research on the most cost-effective methods.)

I definitely think it saves them money to not print envelopes for parishioners who already schedule online donations.

Isn’t this an example of a false quandary?

Acknowledging advances in science does not mean being secular. There is no obligation for a Catholic to deny science.

As for paying church offerings via the web, what exactly is wrong with that?

I give online. I still attend mass on all Sundays and on all holy days of obligation.

Your posts puzzle me. Why do you think people who give online do not attend mass?

At my previous parish in the Seattle area, for those that did ACH transaction (such as us) they mailed you laminated cards to put in the collection basket to keep that part of the tradition. But the funny thing is, it’s the adults that wanted it. Our kids wanted to put actual money in the basket. We just brought the cards to the office the next time we were in the parish.

We do ACH for our current parish as well. And our parish doesn’t bother with cards. And it seems to me that nobody notices if you just pass the basket by. But then again, I don’t pay much attention to what others are doing when the basket goes by (either by them or their reaction when it goes by us). But I’m not opposed to doing something to help people feel like they are involved–whether tradition or showing to others. At least they freely (I hope!) gave to the Church’s needs.

Online giving works well for me, too. I never attend Sunday Mass in my home parish because I take my mom to Mass at a neighboring church with better accommodations for the disabled. I give a cash donation at that church, but I am able to also support my home parish.

It seems to me that online giving could also help curtail the more simple forms of theft or embezzlement in some cases (like skimming off the collection basket), distasteful as it may be to consider, but sadly it does occur.

I think the idea of using a kiosk physically located at the church is an innovative idea! Especially so for churches that may serve as tourist attractions. For better or worse fewer and fewer people carry cash on them (and even fewer walk around with their checkbooks), and should you find yourself in a situation where you want to make a spur of the moment donation you’re pretty much out of luck, as is that church!

I’ve made random pit stops into certain Catholic churches just to say a quick prayer (or look around since they were churches I hadn’t yet been inside) not knowing that a Mass was about to start. In such instances I’ve stayed for the Mass but have either had nothing to give or only had such a pittance to give that it’s almost embarrassing (I mean really, I feel silly dropping my loose change). In such instances if there had been a little kiosk in the Narthex I would’ve likely given at least $10 each visit, and this is just as a visitor without any real obligation to support such parishes. I can’t imagine that I’m alone in this. Add to the fact that such kiosks allow for donations outside of Mass and such technology would seem to only boost a parish’s income.

The power of purchase that the Debit Card gives
is sometimes ALL CONSUMING in that you RELY
on it when you don’t have cash! If, for some reason
you CAN’T use it, you really feel POOR indeed.
May God deliver us from the mighty card!!!

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