The digital prayer life
Prayer experiences have entered the digital age as a plethora of apps are available for the recitation of the rosary and other prayers, information on saints, daily scripture readings and music.
Brianne Walsh, who attends Christ the King Church in Burlington and St. Francis Xavier Church in Winooski, particularly enjoys three apps: Relevant Radio, Magnificat and IBreviary.
“I use Magnificat on a regular basis. It is my most preferred app,” said the member of Burlington Catholic Young Adults and Vermont Catholic Youth Serve counselor. “During a busy week I may use it twice a week. During a good week I will try to use it everyday.”
She also uses Spotify and Relevant Radio for downloading podcasts she can listen to in the car.
Brittany Czekaj of Christ the King/St. Anthony Parish in Burlington is another frequent user of Catholic apps.
“I recently discovered the Laudate app … [and] I was so blown away by how versatile it is!” she enthused. “At one point or another I have used every tab on the app.”
Her most frequently used are:
+Rosary and Chaplet — She likes to follow along with one of the rosary podcasts to pray the mysteries of that day along with reflections between each Hail Mary.
+Daily Readings and Saint of the Day — She likes to begin each day with the daily readings or reflections.
+Calendar — She looks ahead at the liturgical calendar to know what feasts/holy days are coming up so that she can celebrate them. “It’s so fun to bring liturgical celebrations into the home,” she said. For example, on Oct. 5 her husband, Peter, and she ate Polish food in honor of the Feast of St. Faustina Kowalska.
+Prayers — “Almost any prayer that you could imagine is contained in this app,” Czekaj said. There is also a search feature that allows the user to type in a keyword and find prayers that are related.
“I love how the app is so versatile that it is as if 10-plus apps were combined,” said the chair of committee for Vermont Catholic Professionals. “Having the Bible and the Catechism at your fingertips is especially helpful as a Catholic in being able to answer questions and defend my faith. I think this app would be especially helpful for those that are looking to become Catholic, new to the faith or just wanting to grow deeper spiritually.”
Catholic apps are “great to use during times of reflection and spiritual growth, whether it is during Advent or Lent or you’re fasting,” Walsh said. “It is so helpful to take out my phone while I am on my lunch break and just make time for my faith — to grow in knowledge of scripture, read about the lives of the saints and even use the app to say evening prayer with friends. I think these apps also help me focus on what is important — my faith and the importance for making God a part of each day.”
—Originally published in the Winter 2018 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.