By Ann Marie Foley - 10 January, 2018
“The app is not specifically to promote any one kind of vocation, but to support people in understanding God’s will for them – their vocation” - Sr Elaine Penrice fsp
God Calls, the latest vocations initiative in England and Wales, comes in the form of an app for smart phones. The National Office for Vocations which is part of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, has launched this free app for 16-35 year olds to help them discover the life God has in store for them. The app is a self-contained program that offers daily prayers, the Gospel for Mass each day, and questions to prompt reflection, all through a smart phone.
“The app is not specifically to promote any one kind of vocation, but to support people in understanding God’s will for them – their vocation,” said Sr Elaine Penrice fsp, Religious Life Promoter, National Office for Vocations (NOV). “It is not intended to replace the work of a vocations director or guide, but rather to help those who perhaps have not even started to think about it, or those who haven’t been able to talk about it yet, or those who are already on the way,” she told Catholicireland.net.
The NOV is very pleased with the reception of the app so far, although it is early days. “People have been very positive about it and we are glad if many people all over the world are able to use it,” she added. “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.”
The NOV began working on the idea of an app about two years ago. Sr Elaine got involved in the project when she joined the office in July 2016. She explained that the app aims to help build a positive vocations culture in the local church and that everybody should feel called by God; firstly to universal holiness, and then in a particular way of life or work.
“This will be a first step for many in thinking seriously about what God is calling people to, and that those who are already discerning will find it helpful to join a virtual community of seekers all over the country, or even the world,” she said.
The NOV wants to get the message to as many people as possible. Sr Elaine added, “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”.
The App includes a journal or diary function which allows the user to jot down any words of Scripture, feelings or thoughts that strike them and enable them to track their spiritual journey day by day. Also available are the Pope’s Tweets, up-to-the-minute Catholic news via a Twitter feed, a monthly quiz, and God Calls’ listings guide with details of new retreats or prayer festivals.
For further reflection, there are snappy mini-biographies of the saints. Other features include: Word of the Day; the text of the Gospel for each day’s Mass; three questions a day related to the daily Gospel; prayers for dawn, noon and night including the Morning Offering, Angelus and Night Examination.