There is now an app whereby a Catholic in Spain can find a priest to meet him or her in order to be offered the sacrament of reconciliation (also known as “penance” or simply “confession”). The new app is called “Confesor Go” (note that, yes, there is one “s” in the Spanish word “confesor”), and there is also a recently-launched Twitter account (@ConfesorGo).
The app identifies the location of the user, and indicates where priests are located nearby, as well as introductory details about the priest, including his name, age, and year of ordination. Confesor Go also includes a list of the Ten Commandments, so that the penitent can examine his or her conscience in preparation for receiving the sacrament.
The app was developed by Father Ricardo Latorre, who has expressed his hope that the app will likewise become available in the Spanish-speaking nations of Latin America sometime within 2017. Of note, Bishop José Ignacio Munilla of the Diocese of San Sebastián in Spain has made himself available via the app, and his brother bishops around the world would do well to consider supporting the use of such an app within their respective dioceses, in order to inspire more of the faithful to make recourse to the sacrament.
This app is not to be confused with a different app launched last month.
(Vatican Radio) In an impressive move to introduce a legacy of the Year of Mercy, a Scottish archbishop has launched what is thought to be the world’s first GPS-powered Sacrament-finding app.
Leo Cushley from the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh announced the launch of ‘The Catholic App’ outside St Peter’s Basilica on 22nd November 2016, surrounded by pilgrims and seminarians from his archdiocese, accompanied by the sound of the Scottish bagpipe.
The app will allow users around the archdiocese to find the nearest and soonest opportunities to go to Confession and Holy Mass, as well as Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
The archbishop called the app “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.”
This app was labeled “sindr” by the media.
As for it being “world’s first GPS-powered Sacrament-finding app” that is not close to being correct. Masstimes.org had an early iPhone app out for finding a Mass near you. Although it has hardly been updated, but still works.
Now if only someone in the U.S. would launch a similar app. Although confessional times are fairly universal here. Usually on Saturday before the Vigil Mass or “by appointment”. I only know of one parish in my diocese that has confession before each Mass.
Getting all the data for such an app would be quite the undertaking. You couldn’t just scrape data from parish websites since finding times for confession on may sites is not an easy task.
Now what would I want in a confessional app beyond what you would expect?
- Picture of the confessional. Often times its hard to tell a “Reconciliation Room” from a closet from the outside. Usually need GPS just to find it since it is often not in a prominent location.
- Ratings of how hard the penances given out are. Because of course I want to find the priest that gives out more severe penances. Seriously though my late-pastor would sometimes give people lighter penances because he would take on a heavier penance himself for them.
- A built in voice recorder. This way if I was trying to remember the sins I committed I could just ask my wife to remind me.
- If you are still having a hard time determining what to confess, the app could review your Twitter/Facebook/etc feed for helpful reminders.
- An Audio Decibel Meter to make sure you are quiet enough to only confess your sins to the priest and not the people in line.
- An included calendar to log when you have been to confession. This way you could be like Spock and say “I last went to confession on 15 December 2016 at 4:32 PM”. Reminders to nag you if the time since your last confession starts to get a big long in the tooth.
- Displays the text of the Act of Contrition automatically dimming the screen so the priest doesn’t know you still haven’t spent the time to remember it.
- A Hail Mary counter to keep track of number of Hail Mary’s assigned that you could then tap to countdown.
- A handy compass to display that your confessed sins are now as far from us as the east is from the west.” Nice to know that our confessed sins are the equivalent of GPS not found.
Now the Epic Pew story called it a “Uber” version. Now that would be cooler to have the confessional come to you.
Perhaps like this actual van from the Diocese of Lafayette.
Or possibly something like this done by a non-priest hoaxer.