The Archdiocese of Bombay launched a new faith app which is named after it, with Cardinal Oswald Gracias on Ash Wednesday, officially releasing the app. Gracias is the Archbishop of Mumbai which is called the Archdiocese of Bombay.
Available on Google Play for Android phones, the app boasts of a Prayer, Find a Church, Prayer request, Year of the Eucharist, Bible Stories and FAQs section. In each of these there are internal sections, like there are the daily mass readings, reflections on the same, the rosary which is interestingly in audio - a great help to the old who have problems reading as well as the visually challenged.
Especially for Lent, the app has a section that urges the Catholic faithful to reduce their carbon footprint this year and thereby save the planet. There is also The Way of the Cross, a popular prayer during Lent which focuses on the last few hours of Jesus on the Earth as he is lead to the cross at Calvary.
The find a church option enables people to find a church in the area that they are in with ease. The church phone numbers, address and mass timings are given.
The prayer request option allows users to sign up to either pray or have other pray for them with a number of prayer issues available.
The Year of the Eucharist section has a video message by church leaders for each month of the year which is uploaded on the Archdiocese of Bombay's YouTube page as well as their WordPress blog.
The Bible stories section has stories about Babel, Joseph, Naomi and Ruth, Isaiah, Job and Daniel in the Old Testament section. Perhaps more stories would be better here as the Bible has more than 46 books in that section. The same problem is true about the New Testament section of the app, here also there are just five stories which hardly reflect the 27 books that make up this section.
The FAQs section has information about sacraments like Baptism, Eucharist, Marriage as well as Funeral, Engagement, Marriage certificate attestation process, etc.
The app is a great step forward to make religion more accessible and understandable for the followers of the Catholic faith, but the app has some sections that still can be improved. On the whole, the Archdiocese of Bombay's app is a helpful and welcome technological assistance for Catholics in the city of Mumbai.
Pamela D'Souza, 34, a teacher from Goregaon said, "The app is really nice, a total one stop for mass readings, reflections and answers to questions about Catholocism. I really love the app and have told all my friends and family members to download it and use it."
Dwayne Barros, 29, a banker from Charni Road said, "A great help to the youth especially those who travel a lot and may not be able to go to church often, the Word of God is now just a swipe away. I'd however have liked if the app was offline, a lot is online and for those who have internet problems especially while travelling, the app may not be that ideal."
Yvette Fernandes, 19, a student from Bhandup said, "Through the app, I have come to know may things about my religion and faith that before this I had not known. A really good app, I especially love the find a church option. I would however, like to have more Bible stories and also if the FAQs section allowed us to ask questions, that would have been nice, otherwise, it's an awesome app."
John Lobo, 56, an architect from Kurla said, "I love the app, it's a great way for the church to keep in touch with modernity. I already have the Catholic Droid app, Bible Diary app and the Daily Bible verse app must say this one has all the good points of those and is very Mumbai-centric which is really nice."
Anil D'Sa, 33, from Vasai said, "Very nice app, but if it had churches from around the country and world it would have been better. But I guess since it's from the Archdiocese of Bombay, the app is concentrating on the city of Mumbai more. The app has answered many of my doubts, I must say it is really helping me into Day 2 of Lent, so great timing."
Watch how to use the app: