Need to find confession nearby at the drop of a dime? There’s an app for that.
The Archdiocese of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh announced last Tuesday at St. Peter’s Square the first ever GPS-powered confession finder that uses technology to connect individuals with the closest confession and Mass times.
“The idea was really inspired by the Holy Father himself. He said to be imaginative about what to do for the Holy Year of Mercy," Archbishop Cushley told Vatican Radio.
The archdiocese hopes the app will increase Mass attendance and help Catholics aged 18-55 to become more fully engaged within the local Church. Ultimately, the app will also save on bulletin printing costs.
The Archdiocese of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh contains more than 110 parishes spread over more than 2,000 square miles in Scotland. Although this archdiocese is the first to launch the app, The Guardian reported that five other dioceses in the country will likely incorporate the app in the near future.
Although some websites have minted similar concepts, such as MassTimes.org, “The Catholic App" is the first mobile-friendly service to offer sacrament-finding services to individuals on their phones. The app also offers a planning service to schedule confession in the future, incorporates local diocesan news, and delivers weekly spiritual inspirations.
Dr. Maciej Zurawski, founder of Musemantik, believes apps are the only way to keep in touch with the mobile generation.
“Websites are losing popularity – what is needed to engage with the mobile generation is an app that is smart and personal, an app that is like a companion, a friend that takes the initiative to inspire you – that’s the vision behind the Catholic App," he sated.
The app, scheduled to go live in 2017, can be found on iPhones and other tablet devices. Other dioceses interested in The Catholic App can sign up on the app’s website.