I like to attend the 5:30pm Sunday mass at my parish, because it is the first mass that occurs after the 1pm mass… I get there at 4:30pm to pray - it’s very quiet, peaceful and empty. On my iPhone, I have a rosary app, the catholic bible, a roman missal app and a couple of prayer apps.
My routine is that as I am walking up to the church, I silence my iPhone, I then go in and sit in a back pew and pray the rosary. I have been praying the rosary daily for almost a year now. So I know most all of the rosary prayers by heart. I’m not referring to the Hail Mary or Our Father. I’m referring to the Preparatory Prayer, Litany, Salve Regina and Memorare. By now, I pretty much have these memorized but I still use my iPhone rosary app to guide me in the order of the prayers. Also I don’t have the different mysteries memorized yet and the app I use contains pretty lengthy scripture verses related to each mystery.
Last Sunday, as I’m sitting there and starting to mediate, pray and reflect, I hear a voice behind me telling me, “Put that away.” I turned around and it was the priest who does the 5:30pm mass. I told him that I was using a rosary app to help me pray. He rudely repeats, “Put it away”. Again, I try to explain to him, “It has the rosary on it”. He tells me in the most disrespectful tone, “I don’t care what it has, put it away”. So without saying anything back I put my phone in my pocket and as soon as he walked into the confessional, I immediately got my phone back out and proceeded to pray from where I left off, before his rude interruption.
There are other issues with this priest, I’ve noticed that crying or talking children really anger him. Sometimes he will stop the liturgy or sermon and he’ll walk over to the parent of the crying child, and he’ll tell them to leave. I’ve witnessed this on several occasions. Sometimes he even approaches people with young children before mass even starts and tells them that he expects them to leave if their kids become a distraction. He comes off as such a moody miserable old man.
Anyway, back to my original issue about iPhone usage before mass. I never touch my phone once mass starts. Again, I only use it for about 40 minutes or so, before mass starts as a prayer reference and to read scriptures related to the mysteries of the rosary. I usually have my beads in one hand and the phone in the other, head down and usually kneeling. It’s very obvious that I’m praying, the place is pretty much empty and you would have to be an idiot to think that I was doing something like texting, browsing, emailing or gaming.
I’ve read other iPhone related posts in this forum and I agree that phone usage during mass would be very distracting - I’m not doing this.
Anyway, I’m very frustrated, probably need to go to confession about it and would like some feedback from other folks. Thanks so much to all for taking the time to read and reply. God bless.