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July 18, 2010

There’s a Catholic app for that

By Alicia Torres

CONTRIBUTOR

There’s an app for that” has become a popular marketing campaign from Apple for the iPhone, but did you know “There’s a Catholic app for that”?

A word first to any Blackberry or Android cell phone users — there is not too much out there for you in the Catholic app world (an app is an application or program that runs on a smart phone). Blackberry and Droid users can take advantage of eBook software (such as Microsoft Reader or MobiPocket) to download Catholic books — including spiritual classics and the Bible.

Also check out www.catholicforum.com/saints. There you’ll find hundreds of prayers and you can read or download great Christian classics from authors from St. Aquinas to Theresa of Avila to Pope Benedict XVI.

For all you iPeople, just a tap of the screen can connect you to a brave new Catholic world. Catholic apps abound, from the practical to the profound. Here are just a few:

■ Don’t miss a pontifical beat with H2Onews. The site www.Pope2You.net chronicles this effort of the Vatican Television Center and Vatican Radio to help keep Vatican and church news accessible to a hyper-connected world. This is the first video news application dedicated to the Catholic world.

■ Are you tired of getting pummeled by your a-religious friends on tough questions about Catholicism? Do not be afraid. Answers4Catholics. com ($1.99, iTunes) has you covered. From Bible verses to audio and video doctrinal catechesis to quotes from the Church Fathers, even if you don’t know your stuff, you’ll have it in the palm of your hand.

■ Do you need a little spiritual kindling to get you through another day? At the swipe of a finger, Catholic Quote of the Day ($1.99, iTunes) gives you inspiration for the years with quotes from saints, popes and other Catholics.

■ Are you a papal encyclical junkie? Just have to have Redemptor Hominis in your back pocket? There’s a Cath app for that. Recordatio ($1.99, iTunes) gives you every encyclical from the last 50 years.

■ Heading out for vacation or a business trip and forgot to look up a parish in the area? Catholic Mass Times Church Directory not only gives you the Catholic churches closest to your destination, but also Mass times, directions and links to parish websites. Daily Mass readings are just a bonus (Free, iTunes).

■ If you’re a Bible thumper with a sore arm, VerseWise RSVCE will save your forearm while you flex your fingers. The entire Revised Standard Version Bible, Catholic Edition, is at your digital disposal ($4.99, iTunes).

■ Do you forget your Magnificat all the time? Don’t get in a tizz. iMissal scores Mass readings (audio, too), a liturgical calendar, the entire Order of Mass and is Droid-friendly ($4.99, www.cantcha.com).

■ A personal favorite, iBreviary is not just for the ordained. All Catholics are encouraged to pray the liturgy of the hours and iBreviary makes it easy. Pray in English, Spanish, French, Italian or even Latin. And Droid users, this one’s for you, too ($0.99, www.ibreviary.com).

■ A real gem, iPieta goes above and beyond what you could ever imagine in a Cath app. The list is too extensive, but some highlights include: Novus Ordo and Tridentine liturgical calendars, numerous devotions, writings from spiritual masters like Ss. Theresa of Avila and John of the Cross, “The Imitation of Christ” and St. Thomas Aquinas’ entire “Summa Theologica,” and even the scriptural rosary and examination of conscience ($2.99, iTunes).

■ iRosary — Have you talked to your Mother today? ($1.99, iTunes)

■ Finally, you can get your fingers on Saint A Day. This is the first app from the Daughters of St. Paul. Not only is there a plethora of information on all those holy men and women, but also hundreds of prayers ... and even a pledge from Sister Christine to pray for you and your intentions ($1.99, iTunes).