By John Heuertz
Special to The Catholic Key
INDEPENDENCE — As usual, a saint said it best: “ … that in difficult moments we might not despair or become despondent, but with perfect confidence submit ourselves to Your Holy Will, which is Love and Mercy itself.”
St. Mark’s in Independence parishioner Michael Binggeli has developed a web site and iPhone app for the greater glory of God and the spiritual refreshment of people everywhere – all because he trusted God at a difficult time, just as the above-quoted St. Faustina Kowalska recommended.
“St. Faustina had a big mission to institute the Divine Mercy and Jesus told her he would make up for everything she lacked,” Binggeli said.
“And He did. That’s what’s really cool. He makes you trust Him.”
About a year ago Binggeli, a software developer, wanted to help a family member in another state whose life had developed many difficult moments. At the time he was having difficult moments of his own at work.
But a parish near his office had a Perpetual Adoration chapel, and he began spending his lunch hours there with Jesus.
Jesus gradually drew him to weekly adoration, and Binggeli’s spiritual life blossomed.
“I thought how nice it would be for my relative to go to an adoration chapel to pray,” he said. “However, I found it very difficult to find a parish in her area that offered it.”
He began thinking that a convenient online reference to places offering Eucharistic Adoration would be useful to people everywhere – and AdorationDirectory.com was born.
It’s easy to use. One just types in a city/state or a ZIP Code, and then sees a list of Eucharistic Adoration sites nearby.
Plus it’s interactive. Users will populate the database with adoration times and places they know of themselves.
But a lot of components are needed to make it work, Binggeli says.
First is the web site’s look and feel. For this Binggeli turned to an experienced web developer – his wife, Linda Binggeli.
“I wanted a neat, clean look that was easy to use,” she said. “I wanted it to appeal to people.”
A database behind the front page stores the parish information, and the web site has to be able to get data out of this database.
The iPhone app will show the user which parishes with Eucharistic Adoration are within ten miles of the phone’s location.
The programming for this is more complicated. The phone has to be able to call the server, and then send the server its current GPS coordinates.
Then the phone has to interface successfully with the web site, so the database can be accessed for the information the phone wants.
Binggeli didn’t know how to write any of this programming when he started.
“There’s definitely a lot of behind the scenes work. I didn’t do the iPhone application because I didn’t know how. It took a lot of hours before the Blessed Sacrament in prayer.”
He soon got the chance to learn them at his job.
“It was like Mother Angelica starting EWTN, only on a much smaller scale,” he said. “You can have a big project or a small project, but even if you don’t know how to do it, just start doing it and God will make up for the rest.”
Binggeli claims the help and inspiration of two other saints besides St. Faustina for AdorationDirectory.
“The reason St. John Vianney inspires me so much is that I’m about as average a guy as you can get. He was like that, so I always went to him when I struggled.”
“Also I saw the love he had for his parish and parishioners and I wanted to bring that to my parish as well.”
St. Thérèse of Lisieux saw herself as a “little brush” that God used to fill in the smallest details of His great works.
“I see myself as a little brush like Thérèse,” Binggeli says. “Jesus will choose weak and defective instruments for His work and He will make his masterpiece.”
“Every day I empty myself before Him, giving him my life and all I have, and every day He fills me up with the graces I need to do His will.”
The database is growing quickly, with about 300 parishes now listed nationwide. Binggeli’s doing some grassroots marketing and promotion with parishes that have Eucharistic Adoration listed online, and pays for his web site’s server hosting, domain name, and assorted yearly fees himself.
Binggeli says his approach is “OK, God, I have built the tool and now you have to get it populated.”
Helping people find Eucharistic Adoration chapels simply and quickly is still a core mission. But Binggeli’s work has turned into a larger mission of spreading the devotion of Eucharistic Adoration.
He suggests that parishes with an existing Eucharistic Adoration ministry put the adoration schedule in a high-profile spot in their bulletins and web sites, alongside Mass and Confession times.
“Through my work on this project I have come to find peace in knowing that at all hours day and night, the faithful are praying for our world at the feet of our Lord,” Binggeli says.
“This is the God of the Universe, the God of everything, humbling Himself for us in the simple presence of bread.”
Visit the Eucharistic Adoration web site at http://www.AdorationDirectory.com. The free downloadable iPhone app can be found at http://bit.ly/M3aAzd or in the app store by searching “Eucharistic Adoration.”