Tech Talk: Digital Tools for Advent

Tech Talk with Lisa Hendey/Son Rise Morning Show (

On a recent episode of the Son Rise Morning Show, we discussed ways we can use digital tools to enrich the Advent season for our families.

Q: Somehow, it’s already time for Advent! How do you feel when people ask you “Are you ready for Advent”?
The Catechism says of Advent:
When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. By celebrating the precursor’s birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (p. 524)
This year, more than ever before, I find myself focused on those words from John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” I’m not “ready” for Advent, but I need this Advent more than I have in years. I feel a strong need to prepare my heart not only for this Christmas, but especially for that second coming.
I’m anxious to still the noise and focus on prayer, but life circumstances will have me traveling for much of Advent to attend to family situations, so this will be a non-conventional Advent season.
I’m more glad than ever before for “portable” Advent tools.
Q: What are a few tools that the institutional Church has provided online to help us ready our hearts for Jesus’ coming at Christmas?
Q: It seems that there are several good apps that we can use on our phones too. What are some of your favorites?
Q: Are there any digital tools that children can enjoy? How about tools for families?
Q: Tell us a bit about your Advent devotional O Radiant Dawn (now available in paperback and kindle).
  • O Radiant Dawn is a daily prayer book created for use around an Advent wreath in Catholic households of any configuration. It contains twenty-eight devotional services, each designed to last only five minutes — an achievable goal for busy families. The single-page service includes: 1) a simple candle lighting, 2) a brief scripture passage paired with a reflection question for adults and older children and one for younger children, 3) silence, and 4) a closing prayer. Rooted in scriptural images of light, the booklet can be used perennially.
Q: Is there any risk in using digital tools for our Advent devotions?
  • We run the risk of becoming so busy “doing” Advent that we neglect to truly prepare our hearts spiritually.
  • Using digital tools always increases our exposure to digital “noise” and runs the risk of separating us from loved ones. When using these tools, turn on screen time limitations, block notifications, and use them in conjunction with offline devotions to connect with others.
Q: Advent also includes some cultural celebrations and celebrations of special saints. Are there any great resources to learn more about and celebrate these liturgical moments?
  • Simbang Gabi: (from wikipedia) – Simbáng Gabi (Filipino for “Night Mass”) is a devotional nine-day series of Masses practiced by Roman Catholics and Aglipayans in the Philippines in anticipation of Christmas and to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is similar to the nine-day series of dawn Masses leading to Christmas Eve practiced in Puerto Rico called Misa de Aguinaldo.
  • Santuario Guadalupe – Official app for the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines, IL (from OSV) – live-stream Mass and explore the sanctuary
  • St. Nicholas Center – discover the truth about Santa Claus with  crafts, activities and more

Listen to our conversation here!


Read more of our Tech Talk columns.

Copyright 2018 Lisa Hendey


About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

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