Cell phone apps assist the faithful during Lent

March 11, 2014

HOUSTON — As technology helps people become more mobile, developers are creating innovative ways to help Catholics connect with their faith through their smartphones and tablets. 

During the season of Lent, the faithful are called to deepen their prayer life in anticipation of the celebration of Easter. 

Yet many people struggle to find the time in the midst of their busy schedules and hectic lives.

Thankfully, there are now a variety of Catholic apps for mobile devices that can help people find time to pray and grow in faith wherever, and whenever, they have time. 

So instead of people checking their Facebook or playing Angry Birds, these apps assist to take advantage of God’s gifts during the Lenten season.

The apps listed below are all free and can be found by searching the phone’s app store.

• Laudate (formerly “Catholic One”) is free app available for iOS, Android and Kindle. 
It is often cited as the number-one free Catholic app because it is the most fully loaded app for the price and is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and other languages.

It also includes daily Mass readings and Order of Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, Rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Stations of the Cross, Confession preparation with examination of conscience, various prayers in Latin with English translation, daily meditations, the New American Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and more.

• CRS Rice Bowl App for both iOS and Android was created by Catholic Relief Servcies. 
This app takes a unique twist on almsgiving by putting a price on various items people may give up for Lent. 
With values in dollars, people can donate that amount to CRS through the app or make a pledge. 
The direct dollar value connection to giving provides motivation by putting little sacrifices into concrete action to help others in the world that are in need. 

The app also includes reflections for each day of Lent, stories and videos of people who benefit from prayers and almsgiving to CRS Rice Bowl, and even meatless recipes for Fridays during Lent.

• Pope App, available for both iOS and Android, is all about the Pope and is powered by news.va, which is run by the Pontifical Council for Social Communication. 

The app allows users to browse photo galleries of recent general audiences and papal events, watch video clips of the Pope’s addresses, read transcripts of his speeches, check out the Pope’s upcoming schedule of events and even watch live streaming video. 
The Pope App also has a Pope News section, links to other great resources (the Pope’s Twitter account, various Vatican news sources, etc.), and Vatican webcams.

• Missio, for iOS and Android, was launched by Pope Francis on May 17, 2013. Created by the Pontifical Mission Societies, MISSIO is designed as a Catholic news aggregate for staying up-to-date on the latest Catholic news from the Vatican and around the world with daily news reports and videos. 

The app collects news from Rome, as well as stories and photos from the missions around the world. Available in English, Spanish, Italian, German, French, Portuguese, Chinese and Arabic.