Cloud cover: LiturgyHelp offers access to faith-building resources

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Home > Media > News > Cloud cover: LiturgyHelp offers access to faith-building resources
Cloud cover: LiturgyHelp offers access to faith-building resources
LiturgyHelp founder and CEO Patrick Nisbet

An innovative Hobart-based business is providing Catholics with access to a range of resources for personal and family prayer, a particularly valued service during the coronavirus pandemic.

LiturgyHelp founder and CEO Patrick Nisbet explained: “Between the resources that we give to ministers and the resources for the people, even in a time of social isolation, we hope to build on that sense of community, solidarity and community connectedness which is intrinsic to us as Catholics.”

Mr Nisbet has a Bachelor of Theology, and a background working in youth ministry and Catholic education.

He started LiturgyHelp more than 20 years ago in his spare bedroom with an original idea, faith and energy, and had enthusiastic support for the project from a newly-ordained priest, Fr Michael Tate, now Tasmania’s Vicar-General. Mr Nisbet tracked down copyrights, moved from CD-roms to online, and evolved the technology.

“We managed to survive the dotcom crash and the GFC and now, hopefully, the coronavirus,” he said.

“What I wanted to do, no one had ever done before. It was a process of working through the legal stuff and copyright restrictions, and then the technology, which was fairly primitive back then.”

But one of the key challenges was dealing with the complexity of the liturgy itself.

“No one would ever deliberately build something as complex as the Catholic liturgy … Trying to convert that into a digital algorithm has been, literally, the work of 20 years.”

The business has grown since those early days to encompass five employees, office space in Taroona, cutting-edge technology, the use of artificial intelligence and the Cloud, and an increasingly global reach.

More than 50 per cent of parishes and Catholic schools in Australia use LiturgyHelp to assist priests, teachers, catechists, musicians, parish secretaries and others involved in Catholic ministry to prepare for liturgy and prayer via a subscription website.

LiturgyHelp also provides free access to individuals and families, via a simple registration. It is hoped that this will assist Catholic communities in social isolation, to access texts, prayers and other resources for prayer and worship over the coming weeks, including by families, Mr Nisbet said.

“We have digital resources and so that makes it so much easier for parishes and for ministers who are in social isolation to be able to continue to minister to their people because they can access our resources and email them through; add them to websites; add them to Facebook,” he said.

To find out more about the subscription site go to liturgyhelp.com or to access the free parishioner site, go to https://liturgyhelp.com/aus/hobart/pray