A Catholic Church diocese in Scotland has unveiled what it believes to be the first Mass and confession finder app.
The Catholic App allows users to find their soonest or nearest Mass and be guided to it via GPS.
It has been developed by the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh in conjunction with Scottish technology company Musemantik.
The Edinburgh-based firm hopes other Catholic dioceses around the world will purchase the app, with five others in Scotland already said to be interested.
The St Andrews and Edinburgh archdiocese covers an area of around 2,000sq miles and contains more than 110 parishes, and the app will contain updated data on all Mass and event timings.
It was unveiled on Tuesday in the Vatican, where Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh is leading a pilgrimage.
He said: “This is a little bit of smart technology that could make a big impact on how the Catholic Church brings the mercy of God and the joy of the Gospel to our contemporary world.”
Archbishop Cushley was joined at the Vatican by pipe sergeant Mauro Nenci of the City of Rome Pipe Band to bring some Scottish flare to the launch.
Falkirk priest Father Jamie Boyle, who was also in Rome for the launch, said he believes the app will prove popular.
He said: “During the Jubilee Year of Mercy there was a discernible upturn in the number of people keen to return to confession but not sure where or when to find it.
“This app will really help people to answer both those question and I hope parish priests around the world find it useful in evangelising their local communities.
“Also, people often prefer to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation to a priest they don’t know – for example, many folk travel to our big, town centre parish to go to confession – and so this app makes it much easier to find that anonymity in another parish if you so choose.”
The Catholic App will be launched early next year.
Musemantik founder Dr Maciej Zurawski said: “Websites are losing popularity – what is needed to engage with the mobile generation is an app that is smart and personal, an app that is like a companion, a friend that takes the initiative to inspire you – that’s the vision behind The Catholic App.”
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