How To Find Mass on the Road

Inside Stella Maris, Goose Island, Texas

I still am getting used to the idea of using my smartphone instead of paper maps, telephone books and a cell phone. Everything evolves around here, especially with rving full-time and relying heavily on modern technology to navigate and assist in finding what we need during our slow travels. The travel tip I’ll share today is from my smartphone, it sure makes simple work of finding Sunday Mass.
yp on google play

We have previously used various websites to locate Catholic churches and Mass times while adventuring. Currently, with our smartphones, on this most recent road trip to parts previously unknown, we have made good use of the YP (yellow pages) app and the pre-loaded maps app on the iPhone4. Although, in a couple of instances we have been steered wrong, these two apps have helped us find churches, post offices, homes of friends and relatives, rv parks, campgrounds, grocery stores, and more.

maps from apple

I shudder to recall the days when Google maps always had to be backed up with a paper street map and a cell phone to call and get directions. I still laugh about my friend’s couchsurfers, who never did find the Grand Canyon, because their smartphones sent them off on a more direct route – as the crow flies, rather than as the car drives. I now laugh at myself, when I get frustrated at the phone for leading me to an empty warehouse instead of the post office, but I am learning to pull over, re-calibrate and enter different info when that happens. It also helps to drive around a bit and have a young’un who’s pretty good with reading maps and navigating. And smartphones.

We haven’t gotten lost yet, but I can tell you, we have unintentionally taken some scenic drives and did arrive late for Mass once. We haven’t missed Mass on Sunday, though. I usually check YP on Friday, map out the route to the church, then call the number provided to check Mass times. 

Our Lady of the Valley, La Jara, Colorado

I still carry a road atlas and some state maps for general route planning and reference, but to find local stuff along the way, the YP app and the maps app have been invaluable and saved an enormous amount of time and frustration. I highly recommend checking your smartphone or tablet and trying out similar apps which may be available to you, as you plan your next pilgrimage.


A Simple Plan

With all the wonderful gadgets we have available to us, it is easy to get lost in today’s technology.  I have experienced the mind-numbing addiction of staring at the computer screen for hours on end.  I try to limit my computer, phone and other related gadget time so that I don’t miss out on life.  Gadgets also eat up precious creative and productive time.

Then I felt the need to return to a more detailed planner for the coming year, 2012, but could not find one on the market that would work for me and was within my budget.  I tried designing my own, but felt like I was re-inventing the wheel.  Before I proceeded to invest large amounts of time in this project, I decided to see what I had in my computer.

I have not previously used computerized planning systems because
(a) it is not convenient to carry the computer around with me and
(b) printing out daily, weekly and monthly schedules, and reprinting with changes and updates, uses an enormous amount of paper, which is also not convenient to carry around and
(c) computers crash and lose information.

Fortunately, I found that there is a calendar on my ipod which will sync with a calendar on my computer.  The ipod is very convenient to carry around.  I now have a backup drive to store my programs, so there are 3 locations for my information to be stored.  I can also print out copies of my schedule, although I will probably just do this for the end-of-year archives, if this all turns out to work the way I hope it will.

For my weekly to-do’s I am using the notepad on my ipod, which I can email to myself if I want to print out a list (my ipod does not sync with my current printers).  Right now, I am just filing the emailed copies in case the ipod crashes.

Although it has taken me 3 solid days of my Christmas break to input everything and learn how to use this system so that it will make my life easier, it seems to be working so far.  As long as everything is backed up where it can be retrieved and printed out if necessary, I should be fine.  If nothing else, I can make a printout and go back to the pencil and paper style.

It’s getting so complicated to keep it simple.