People often ask me how I find all my Catholic apps. I wish I had a Super Secret Catholic App Finder resource. The truth is, I just periodically type in "Catholic app" in the Play Store search box and see what pops up.
Sadly, although there are over 300 new Android apps uploaded daily, very few of those are focused on the Catholic faith. The positive from that is that it's easy to keep up with all the latest Catholic offerings.
This week, I'll be reviewing Catholic Droid, one of my more recent discoveries.
This app consists of ten sections. Each provides a way for the user to learn more about or participate in a devotion of the Catholic faith.
Overall, it's definitely worth the space on your Android device, especially for the price!
Pro: Available in several languages, including Latin and Portuguese.
Con: Lacks a search feature, which makes it difficult to navigate if you don't know the chapter and verse of the Scripture.
Pro: It is never a bad thing to have new and/or old prayers handy, and even better when they are listed alphabetically.
Con: The selection is very limited; the font is small and can't be adjusted.
Way of the Cross
Pro: The accompanying text and pictures are definitely conducive to meditative, reflective contemplation of Jesus' Passion. I particularly enjoyed the plentiful use of Scripture in the text.
Con: I'm still stuck on the small font that can't be enlarged. This section could also be enhanced with prayers to accompany the meditation.
Commandments of the Church
Pro: Great reminder--or for some a great introduction--to how one is called to live out the Catholic faith in practice.
Con: I would have liked to see more details for the reasons behind each commandment, what's required of or asked for, by the Church.
Pro: I appreciate how this app strives to include so many aspects of the faith, as well as provide at least some teaching on each.
Con: Quite frankly, I'm greedy and I just want more information. In particular, I felt this would be a great place to introduce content from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and provide a more in-depth explanation of the sacraments.
Pro: Graphics are interactive, so the app provides that actual tactile rosary bead feel. Touching the bead on the screen reveals the prayers that accompany the bead.
Con: In regard to that tactile feel, the tablet vibrates as you move through each bead. I'm torn on this feature being a pro or a con. On my tablet, the vibrating is very jarring if you have let your mind drift off into deep prayer. I think I prefer programs to highlight the bead on the screen to help you keep track. This is particularly true if you bring your tablet with you to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Pro: Comprehensive examen.
Con: Not password protected, so it does not save. Therefore, if you wanted to use the program in actual confession, you'd have to complete it right before going in to the confessional.
Pro: This is an attempt to write the commandments in a very simplified manner, which I can appreciate as a catechist.
Con: This may seem contradictory, but they may have oversimplified some of them, such as #9, "You do not want your neighbor's wife," and #5, "Do not kill."
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Pro: Gifts are listed together with a separate link that gives further explanation for each one. I was very excited to see this section included, as the existence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives is an often-forgotten aspect of our faith. I also appreciated the tie of each gift to a Scripture verse.
Con: The use of unfamiliar terminology for some of the gifts was a little confusing.
Pro: Very quick look-up of the current day's Mass readings. The text finally filled up my tablet page, giving it a more appealing look compared to sections that had given only bits of information, with large portions of empty space. This section was much easier to read, despite the small font.
Con: Like most daily reading apps, you have to have an internet connection to receive the text. Only the current day's readings are available so it's not useful if you need future readings or if you like to look back.
Copyright 2012 Allison Gingras
About the Author
Allison Gingras created the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women (OSV), including "The Gift of Invitation" and "Seeking Peace: A Spiritual Journey from Worry to Trust." Her ministry focuses on the grace of prayer, Scripture, and sacrament. Allison is the national WINE Steward for WINE: Women In the New Evangelization and hosts A Seeking Heart podcast.