Technology proves worthy means for spreading the gospel

Joseph Edward's IT team has developed an application that lets diocese parishes keep the flock close. Voice over Internet Protocol and a Web portal strategy are also planned.

Award winner: Joseph S. Edward, director of information systems services, Roman Catholic Diocese of London

Award-winning project:Established a data center allowing parishes to store data in one central location and access it from anywhere, anytime via a secure virtual private network.

Hear from our award winner
Joseph S. EdwardListen in as Joseph S. Edward talks with technology editor Sarah Varney about his work as director of information systems services at The Roman Catholic Diocese of London.
Industry: Faith formation and religious education (Roman Catholic).

Revenue: Approximately $50 million.

Number of employees: 800

Time in job: 16 years

Educational background: Bachelor of Science

First job: High school chemistry teacher.

Best advice you've ever received: My mother advised me to go to Nigeria just before the government orchestrated racial riots in Sri Lanka in July 1983. In doing so, I escaped the terrible violence that occurred shortly after I left.

Best career move: Joining the Diocese of London.

Award-winning IT
Why this project worked: Overwhelming user support and user input from start to finish.

How you sold it to management: Presented a cost-benefit analysis.

What the judges said: Excellent job of connecting IT vision and mission to the vision and mission of the diocese. I especially liked that his leadership is focused on championing how the larger diocese staff can incorporate and leverage technology in achieving their mission.

Biggest career influence: Larry Brennan

Best technology decision: Developing Our Parish Family, a parish information management tool.

Biggest IT challenge: Convincing the users that church and technology are not an oxymoron.

Best personality trait: Facilitator or enabler.

Worst personality trait: Not being able to say no to users and taking too much on.

Hobby: Gardening

Alter-ego career: Priest

Current reading: Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, Roméo Dallaire.

Next big technology: Implementation of Diocesan Web strategy.

One word of advice to IT pros coming up the ranks: Technology is a means to an end and not an end in itself.

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Sarah Varney, Technology Editor

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