by Simon Caldwell
MANCHESTER, England (CNS) — The Catholic Church in England and Wales has launched a cellphone app designed to help users deepen their faith and discover their vocations.
The “God Calls” app was commissioned by the National Office for Vocation of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales as a “spiritual toolkit.”
The app includes daily prayers and meditations on the Gospel and the lives of the saints, as well as a news section and Twitter feed to connect users to the life of the church.
It also includes a journal so that users can monitor their spiritual growth and understand more clearly how God might be calling them.
The vocations office said in a Jan. 8 statement that Catholics would see their faith grow if they used the app regularly.
“Gradually — God never pressures — you’ll discern the divine calling he’s crafting for your future, your happiness, your soul,” the statement said.
The app is available for download free of charge onto iPhone and Android devices from the God Calls website at www.godcalls.co.uk.
Sister Elaine Penrice, a Daughter of St. Paul who serves as the religious life promoter of the vocation office, told Catholic News Service that the app was proposed two years ago as part of a strategy to help “build a positive vocations culture in our local church.”
“This means that everybody should feel called by God,” she said in a Jan. 9 email, “firstly to universal holiness, and in a particular way of life or work. We believe that in order to hear and understand God’s call in our lives, it is helpful to immerse ourselves in our relationship with God.
“We were aware that to communicate this idea, it is important to get the message to as many people as possible,” she said. “The app was one of the ways we thought we might be able to help people — especially young people — to think about their relationship with God, and how to make that relationship concrete every day.”
Sister Penrice said the app had been well received “in these early days of its existence,” adding that she would be glad “if many people all over the world are able to use it.”
“We have no specific targets of how many downloads we seek but, of course, more is better, so that the word of God goes to the ends of the world,” she said.
She said she hoped those already discerning God’s call would “find it helpful to join a virtual community of seekers all over the country, or even the world.”