Since buying my very first smart phone ( a Palm Treo, a million years ago!) I’ve slowly but surely transferred most of my life to mobile devices. As a mom and freelancer and now youth minister, I’m always on the go and seemingly always in need of connectivity. I’ll admit, I hate “stuff” so the less I can carry, the happier I am. Which would explain why my little phone is chock full o’ goodies and makes me exceedingly happy.
As everything from store cards to calendars to notebooks moved to my phone or table, there was one stubborn area that lagged behind. The last paper hold outs were those that involved my church life. It seemed everywhere I traveled, I always had a rosary or a prayer-book of some sort in a pocket or purse and I wondered if, in the name of efficiency, I could change that. Luckily, I found some perfect apps that have made carrying anything but phone and keys a thing of the past. Also, quite surprisingly, these have enhanced my prayer life. It’s hard to forget when to pray if a little phone-bird chirps to remind you! I’ll share some of my favorites with you and feel free to leave any you love in the comments below.
- (Honor your) Inner Monk- iOS & Android, Free: This charming app is a way to be sure you’re including daily prayer in your life. It offers a morning and afternoon prayer that are both quick enough to complete waiting for a train or brushing your teeth. The designers of this app know that we regular people don’t have time to pray like monks, but we should still be talking to God every day. I love this because the prayers are often so timely I’m not entirely sure someone isn’t reading my mind. They get right to the heart of what I need to hear to focus my energy on doing good work each morning and continuing that work, often in spite of the events of the day, each afternoon. The app was designed by the monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, a Benedictine community in Indiana. Not only are the prayers short and easy to incorporate, the app is so beautifully designed, with incense smoke and chanting amens, you can’t help but want to open it up twice a day. It also tracks your progress and celebrates you at the end of each month. See that picture above? Who wouldn’t want that?
- Magnificat-iOS, Android, Free- This Magnificat app offers prayers for daily, evening and night based on the Liturgy of the Hours complete with reminders so you stop to pray even if you’ve lost track of time. There are daily Mass reading, daily meditations taken from the best the Church has to offer and essays on the Saint of the day. That’s just SOME of what’s packed into this powerful little app. You can increase your faith and learn more about the church on your commute home. (Trains, only please.)
- Laudate- iOS, Android, Free– The Laudate app is billed as the “most popular and most comprehensive” on its iTunes review. I can’t vouch for popular, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one more comprehensive. This app has:
- Daily Mass readings and Saint of the Day
- The order of the mass (helpful for those of us who STILL can’t get the Creed right-ugh!)
- Stations of the Cross
- Examination of Conscience and other Confession prep tools
- The complete NAB and Douay-Rheims Bibles
- An interactive Rosary (along with about 10 other options for saying the Rosary)
- Links to Catholic media outlets, Catechism and Vatican documents
- And more! Seriously, you need to see for yourself.
4. Missio– iOS, Android, Free– Did you think you’d ever see a day when a Pope “launches an app worldwide”? Well, that’s what happened here. Missio was created by The Pontifical Mission Societies as a way to allow everyone to find out about the latest news with the global Catholic church. It’s essentially a Catholic news aggregator, with a Papal stamp of approval.
5. Saints 4 Kids iOs, $2.99- This app and the Child’s prayer app offer a great alternative to kids or adults who aren’t ready for all the text in the above mentioned “daily” apps. There are daily prayers and daily Saint bios perfect for kids’ eyes and ears. There are also features like printing, where you can actual color in the picture of the Saint of the day. These are a great way to get children involved in a daily dialogue with God.
So there you have it. My “Deus” folder on the iPhone. I’m also anxious to check out Catholic Cheat Sheet for more help with my Creed problem. Just promise not to give me the stink eye if I have my phone out during Mass. Now you know why! For an even broader list of Catholic apps, you can visit the websites CatholicApps or Catholicapps.wordpress. Happy Mobile Faith!