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This column wasn't my idea. It's inspired by two women in my life, one of whom has a new iPad, and the other of whom asked about Catholic apps for her son's iPod Touch.

My favorite Catholic apps, the ones that I touch so often they get their own folder on my dock. I never want them far from me.

I do have a whole screen/page of Catholic apps, mind you.

And I have a folder of apps I need to check out for review. (This is almost as good as the bulging shelf of books to review. Almost.)

Let's start with the folder on my dock, pictured below, what I'll call my Essential Catholic Apps. Here's what it includes:

  • Notes (comes standard on iPad)- I keep a list of my current prayer intentions, my personalized litany, and any other special prayer requests here.
  • Consecration (Total Consecration) - I started Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary using this app, which I reviewed a while back. It's in this folder because it's something I use daily right now. When I'm no longer going through Total Consecration, I'll move it to my Catholic screen.
  • Magnificat (Magnificat, US Edition) - Years ago, I had a subscription to Magnificat magazine. I talked myself out of it because I purchased other materials to pray the Divine Office. But after enjoying the Advent app so much, I decided to subscribe again. I'm so glad I did! I so enjoy this as a resource--I don't have time to use it completely, but I do read at least the daily Mass readings and reflections for each day.
  • Mary's Psalter (Catholic Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary) - There are 150 devotions and I've found myself, as I work my way slowly through it, learning and growing in my devotion to Mary. Read my earlier review of this app.
  • Lent (Catholic Meditations for Lent by St. Thomas Aquinas) - I was on the fence about using this app (I didn't want to set myself up for failure), but I'm enjoying it so far. Each day of Lent has a meditation based on the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. There's a very handy reminder, too. This is another app that will rotate out of this folder when I'm done using it on a daily basis.
  • iMissal - There are quite a few different ways you can read the Mass readings. I use iMissal in different ways during different seasons of my life, but right now, it's for the Sunday readings. I try to read them daily, but some weeks I only get to them a few times before the weekend Mass. It helps me when I'm distracted and juggling a thousand things during Mass to be familiar with the readings already. There's an audio option as well, and a number of other uses for this app. It's one of my favorites.
  • Divine Office - I'm in a "not praying the Divine Office" stretch right now, but I refuse to move this app out of this folder just yet, because it remains one of my all-time favorites. Not only is the audio well-done (and optional!), but the design is simply beautiful.
  • Prayers (Prayers 2000+ Catholic Prayers) - My one-stop prayer stop. It rocks.
  • Confession - My priest isn't even surprised that I use this during confession. I haven't completely learned the prayers (after ten years, I have no excuse, I know), and it does help me to use the app and stay focused.
  • iRosary - Still my favorite rosary app, even now that I have a whole folder on another screen of rosary apps. Read my review of rosary apps.
  • Rosary (Scriptural Rosary) - Still the only scriptural rosary app out there, and not a bad one by far.
  • Rosary Audio - I love that this app includes an audio feature, in addition to the interactive rosary features. Also a favorite, and the settings can make it a different experience every time you pray it.
  • iPieta - Though it's not as fancy-looking as many of my other Catholic apps, it's awesome for its content, usefulness, and general Catholicity. Worth the money, hands down.

When I do a novena that has an app associated with it, I'll add it to this folder as well.

There are more Catholic apps on my iPad, but these are the "top 13" right now.

YOUR TURN: What are YOUR essential Catholic apps?

Copyright 2012 Sarah Reinhard