Tech Talk: Prayer and Social Media

I’ve been a regular at Eucharistic Adoration for just over two years, and it’s taken me this long to find a way to use the time as a prayer intercessor for others.

For too long, I’d gone to the Adoration Chapel with an agenda and a tote bag: a spiritual book (or three) to read, a rosary, a journal, and my iPad so I could pray Liturgy of the Hours. It was getting to the point where Adoration was another task to check off my list, a quiet hour to read a book I’d promised to review. Check, check, check.

Checking off tasks is not what Adoration is supposed to be about.

I’d been noticing for a while that my friend Allison Gingras would share on Facebook that she was heading to Adoration, and offer to pray for any special intentions people posted. I knew she wouldn’t mind if I adopted her idea, so I created a graphic with a photo from our Adoration Chapel and shared it on Facebook for the first time in late February.


The response was tremendous. Over 40 likes. Over 35 comments. And a whole host of messages with private intentions. And I wasn’t just hearing from Catholics. I filled 2 index cards, both sides, with intentions posted in under 3 hours.

People are hungry for that intercessory prayer. People carry secret burdens and don’t always know how to ask for help, or even prayer over their situation. It’s a comfort to know that someone else is holding them up in prayer.

I took those two index cards and my rosary to the chapel. I always pray the Franciscan Crown rosary, and it’s a good thing it has 7 decades, because at one bead per intention I needed all those prayers to cover my list, plus my family and one general prayer for any late-breaking intentions (I wasn’t checking Facebook in the chapel.)

Later that day I got an email from one of the deacons at our parish, who’s my friend on Facebook. He wanted to let me know that he and his wife were going to begin inviting their Facebook friends to share intentions, to be prayed for during their Adoration hour.

He also said that this is a great way to evangelize. I hadn’t thought about that, but it’s true. Originally I’d hesitated to mention on Facebook that I was going to Adoration–but this has shown me that it’s something needed and appreciated.

I created a rosary prayer intentions printable to use each week to list intentions: my own, as well as those of my friends on Facebook. It’s also a Franciscan Crown Rosary tutorial. Download this printable and set it up for your “intentional rosary.”

Copyright 2017 Barb Szyszkiewicz


Monday Recap: January 2017

It’s the first Monday of the month, so I’ve gathered up links to the work I’ve done in other spaces.



Tech Talk: Listen to Our Writers: Several authors have their own podcasts! Subscribe to their shows for encouragement, entertainment and education.

At Cook and Count


Walnut Spice Cakea dressed-up quick bread perfect for dessert.


Mushroom-Rosemary Marinara: a hearty meatless pasta sauce.


Orecchiette with Ricotta and Peas: comfort food!


Cod with Mustard and Panko: a jazzed-up baked fish dinner.


Monday recap 2016 edition

Talk, talk, talk, talk, bicker, bicker, bicker

I can’t wait until the election is over.

It’s gotten to the point where I hesitate to go on Facebook, and I’ve been avoiding Twitter.

I know plenty of people who have sworn off social media entirely. I don’t know if that’s helping; it’s certainly not helping those of us who are still there are who are seeing proportionately MORE political stuff, because the folks who don’t want the political stuff aren’t there posting other stuff.

In her Conquering Twitter in Ten Minutes a Day handbook, Katharine Grubb observes,

Facebook is like having a big meal at Applebee’s with your buddies from high school, your college roommates and your parents. Twitter is like going to a sold-out professional football game in Gillette Stadium and having a conversation with the people next to you, while yelling at the guy on the other side cheering for the other team (4).

I’ve always enjoyed social media, and I use it for my job. But right now it’s become a chore. Facebook isn’t like a big meal at Applebee’s right now. It’s more like a bar brawl. I expect chairs to fly through windows any minute.

I’ve maintained that this election is going to be won through the media. Not social media. I still believe that.

But if you are still on social media, would you please do something besides bicker?


This month I’m joining all the cool kids in the #Write31Days adventure! I didn’t pick a keyword or a theme, because just getting something written for all 31 days is challenge enough for me right now.

Tech Talk: Permission NOT Granted

Back when I was on Team Android, I used an app called SleepCycle as my alarm clock.

The idea behind this app is that you tell it what time you wake up, put the phone on your bed, and then it analyzes your sleep pattern based on movement, using the phone’s accelerometer, waking you up sometime in the half-hour before your target wake-up time, at a point when you were less likely to be in deep sleep. Hitting the snooze will cut the difference between current time and target wake-up time in half. Then you’d see a spiffy display showing your times of deep sleep and light sleep.*

I switched back to Team iPhone last winter, because diabetes-management software for iPhone is several months ahead of the same software for Android. Since I liked the app, I downloaded it to my new iPhone.

When I started up the app, it requested permission to use my device’s microphone. I found that puzzling. The app was really pushy about that, too. It will work with the accelerometer, but “recommends” microphone use. If you use the microphone you can leave the phone on your bedside table instead of on the bed.

"Tech Talk: Permission NOT Granted" @Franciscanmom
Via Pixabay (2016), CC0 Public Domain

I’m just not OK with granting access to my phone’s microphone to an alarm-clock app. How do I know that someone’s not on the other side of that microphone listening to what is said in my house–or anywhere else I happen to be with that phone in my hand? It creeps me out.

My friend Christine shared an article at Aleteia that shows that this issue isn’t limited to just alarm clocks. Facebook is listening in as well. Now, I don’t use the Facebook app on my phone or tablet. I look at it in the browser.

But the idea that any of my apps can eavesdrop on things? That’s disturbing.

To see who’s potentially “listening” on an iPhone, just go to Settings>>Privacy>>Microphone, to view the applications that have requested access to the microphone in your device. If you don’t like the idea of apps having access to your microphone, you can turn them off until needed.

To learn how to turn off your Facebook app in an iPhone or Android, click here. (Aleteia)

Check your settings, and think twice about what permissions you grant when you install an app.

*And about that display: I tested it once. I turned on the app during the day and left the phone in the bed, which was empty all day. It still showed an up-and-down pattern. So much for that super-duper analysis of my sleep.


This month I’m joining all the cool kids in the #Write31Days adventure! I didn’t pick a keyword or a theme, because just getting something written for all 31 days is challenge enough for me right now.

Monday Recap: September 5, 2016

It’s the first Monday of the month, so I’ve gathered up links to the work I’ve done in other spaces, from book reviews and Tech Talk (will I ever get to Inbox Zero?) to recipes and back-to-school tips from none other than Ramona’s mom!


Image via Pixabay (2009), CC0 Public Domain


Tech Talk: Is Inbox Zero a Pipe Dream? I fight an ongoing battle with my inbox. Are you working on controlling your email? Find out what works for a detail-oriented thinker.

“Beverly Cleary Fandom” by Multnomah County Library (2014) via Flickr, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0


Mrs. Quimby’s 6 Best Back-to-School Tips (Plus One from Me). I loved reading Beverly Cleary’s “Ramona” series as a child. Turns out, these books are chock-full of sound parenting advice.


Book Notes: Works of Love are Works of Peace. My review of the newly-reissued photobook about Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta: Works of Love are Works of Peace. This book will challenge and change the way you serve.


Book Notes: “Mary’s Way” Encourages Praying Moms. Mary’s Way: The Power of Entrusting Your Child to God is both a testament to perseverance and a guide to surrender. I reviewed this new book by contributor Judy Klein.

At Catholic Underground

A Single Bead by Stephanie Engelman

Catholic Underground picked up my review of Stephanie Engelman’s A Single Bead. Thanks for hosting me!

At Cook and Count

I haven’t made too many new dishes this summer, so there’s just one recipe this time!

shrimp fra diavolo for 2Shrimp Fra Diavolo for Two

At Dynamic Women of Faith

CM Prayer Companion cover art

Book Review: The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. The book is out now, so be sure to order your copy today! Want an autographed copy? Leave a comment or email me for details.

Monday recap 2016 edition

Monday Recap: March 2016


book notesBook Notes: Jeff Cavins’ When You Suffer. Cavins maintains that suffering has a purpose. It can help us grow in grace, to grow closer to Christ–if we choose to allow that to happen.

Is There a Cure for FOMOTech Talk: Is there a Cure for FOMO? I admit that my use of some social media can border on the compulsive. What do you do to alleviate your fear of missing out?

faithful traveler for FIThe Faithful Traveler Brings the Holy Land Home. I enjoyed a virtual journey to the Holy Land through a new video series from The Faithful Traveler, this one focusing on a papal pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

book notesBook Notes: Wartime Historical Fiction. I shared impressions of two historical novels I read recently, one set during World War II, the other during the Spanish Inquisition.

easterfire 2012 for FIEaster Vigil: Bring Your Family to the Fire. Are your children too wiggly to handle the whole Easter Vigil? I suggested that you start slowly–by bringing your family to the fire.

At Cook and Count

There’s been lots of international cooking this month!

Irish Soda Bread, just the way my mom makes it

Blueprint- Chicken Fettuccine VegetablesBlueprint Recipe: Chicken Fettuccine with Vegetables



irish tea brackFor St. Patrick’s Day: Irish Tea Brack




pierogi lasagna (13) CMeatless Friday: Pierogi Lasagna



File Mar 16, 4 31 09 PMWaterford Rolls based on a recipe from the region where my Granma was born



arroz con pollo (2)cOne-Pot Cooking: Arroz con Pollo. Certainly not authentic, but definitely delicious.


corned beef hash (1) T CCorned Beef Hash, a frugal “breakfast at any time of the day” dish


asparagus tart (1) cFabulous Appetizers: Asparagus Tart is fancy enough for company and can be made ahead

At Dynamic Women of Faith

true radianceBook Review: True Radiance by Lisa Mladinich

Monday Recap: December 14, 2015

Monday Recap-What I've been writing

As I do each Monday, I’ve gathered up links to the work I’ve done in other spaces. There hasn’t been much this week. A lot of work has gotten done ahead of time for my job, so that there will be time off for Christmas! And this week I completed an outline for a possible book project; that was sent out today.


benedicta album cover

Benedicta: Chant in Honor of the Blessed Mother



365 days to Mercy logoTech Talk: An App for the Year of Mercy

Monday Recap: November 16, 2015

Monday Recap-What I've been writing

There’s been a whole lot of cooking going on this week at Cook and Count, with plenty of new recipes–plus some Tech Talk and a Small Success at CatholicMom. And don’t forget my Sunday Series for Diabetes Awareness Month.


conquering twitter in 10 minutes a day coverTech Talk: Conquering Twitter in 10 Minutes a Day

Your Twitter account isn’t going to grow itself. If you’d like to learn to use Twitter to better promote your business, organization or project, try the lessons in Katharine Grubb’s new ebook, Conquering Twitter in 10 Minutes a Day. I road-tested the advice in this ebook and described the results.



Small Success dark blue outline 800x800Small Success Thursday: Better Late than Never Edition

Standing in once again for the usual Small Success hostess.

At Cook and Count

double choc mm cookies T C (8)

Giant Double Chocolate M&M Cookies

pork chop cider mustard roasted veg (2)T C

Roasted Vegetables with Apples

pork chop cider mustard roasted veg (6)T C

Pork Chops with Apple Cider-Mustard Glaze

Giant sugar cookies with sprinkles (8)cT

Giant Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles


Frugal Fridays: DIY Spice Blends

measuring devices (1)c

What’s Different about Cooking for Diabetics?
The answer just might surprise you!

Monday Recap 09-14-2-15

Monday Recap-What I've been writing

Not much writing this week–though I got a good bit done in this space, for a change! Between a “day off” for Labor Day, a half-day spent getting TheKid’s insulin pump started, and two Secular Franciscan events in the same weekend, my schedule was packed. In a good way.



Tech Talk: Breaking the “Instagram or It Didn’t Happen” Rule. For my monthly Tech Talk column, I talk about our semi-unplugged vacation. Yes, we still used social media, but we didn’t tell anyone we were out of town.


Monday Recap: June 15, 2015

Monday Recap-What I've been writingThere’s still some Monday left in today. It’s been a busy day around here, what with school getting out tomorrow and all…

There’s nothing new on the recipe front, but just wait until Friday when I’ve got something really special over at Cook and Count!


Weather app logo collegeTech Talk: Whatever the Weather. How long until that thunderstorm comes your way? My favorite weather apps will keep you up-to-date on all those summer storms. Also, you’ll find out where Hubs, AKA The Meteorologist, gets his weather info (hint: it’s not an app!)

Unleashed Book Club: Chapter 1. At, we’re reading Sonja Corbitt’s Unleashed. Various authors host the book club discussions each week. I discuss the connection between hospitality and fear.


CM Sunday Brunch 3Sunday Brunch. Here’s a big bunch of the week’s best articles at I curate this weekly feature.