There's an 'app' for that: iPhone applications devised for Catholics
Published: March 9, 2010
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In a world that boasts continual technological change, the iPhone by Apple has gained near-iconic status. Even Apple boasts there are more than 140 million applications -- or "apps," in Apple-speak -- that users can obtain for their phones. It only follows that there would be some clever Catholics who have devised apps to bolster people's faith. Dave Brown of Bend, Ore., invented a virtual rosary-beads app as a sign of thanksgiving after doctors found a successful bone-marrow match for his kindergarten-age daughter in 2008, curing her of her leukemia. Brown and his wife, Jackie, prayed the rosary frequently through their daughter's treatment, even though one parent was in Bend keeping the home fires burning while the other stayed with the desperately ill girl in Portland, Ore. How? With iPhones that Dave Brown bought so they could talk and send photos and video. An information technology manager at a window and door company, Dave Brown used his know-how to design an iPhone app that allows the user to pray the rosary. The small screen has animated beads that can be moved with a touch. Corresponding prayers pop up on the screen, along with devotional images. Brown told the Catholic Sentinel, Portland's archdiocesan newspaper, that within a year of its introduction, more than 20,000 sales of the app had been recorded. The Browns decided to keep the price low -- 99 cents -- to get as many people as possible praying. A similar rosary app, known as the Prayer Beads App, was designed by Premier Christian media in England in advance of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Great Britain later this year and made available in March through Apple's online store. In California, the Riverside Press-Enterprise daily newspaper reported that a San Bernardino priest will use an iPhone app to deliver daily inspirational video messages. Divine Word Father Michael Manning, who hosts a show on cable television's Trinity Broadcasting Network, will make his iPhone debut in April.
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