Sometimes, a weekend retreat is just what we need to stay sane, but money and time are limited. IPod applications offer small versions of retreats and ways to keep your faith strong and empowering when you’re overwhelmed. Some apps are free, while others cost a minimal fee. You decide if they should become a part of your life.
“3 Minute Retreat” by Loyola Press – $0.99
Users gave it 4/5 stars
This application offers a new retreat daily that can be done before you start your day, while you’re eating lunch, relaxing before bed or in the middle of a stressful workday – it’s soul-lifting in a time crunch. You’re in control of how long you spend on each slide, and you can listen to or turn off the accompanying music. It also offers a Spanish version. Each retreat begins with a message to pause, relax, pay attention to your breath and “be aware of the loving presence of God within you.” A Bible verse, the message behind it and related reflection questions follow before ending with the option of saying your own prayer or the one offered in the retreat. The background pictures, music and reflections give you an inexpensive way to de-stress and go on a retreat every day.
Faith magazine by BlueToad Inc. – FREE
View online or download the current issue onto your iPod and flip through its pages. It’s much easier to carry your music, movies and magazines in one place! The monthly magazine issues are small on screen, but offer: answers to questions like “Is it OK to parish shop?”; recipes with meaning – the current issue shares what the columnist learned from a pretzel and her soft pretzel recipe (there’s a recipe in each issue); and priests’ responses – similar to our Fr. Jerry Herda feature on Page 8.
Catholic TV by Catholic TV – FREE
Users gave it 4/5 stars
Even if you don’t watch America’s Catholic Television Network, this app offers many other useful things, including: daily rosary movies, where the rosary is said by a priest, or even a cardinal, in different locations; a “What’s New” feature with anything from newsbreaks and information to “The Giggles” – Catholic TV Outtakes that will make you laugh; “Reflection,” short reflections about different topics like the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti; and “Up Coming,” a listing of videos you don’t want to miss on Catholic TV.
Roman Catholic (RC) Calendar
by Universalis Publishing – FREE
Users gave it 3.5/5 stars
This calendar lists the most important dates of the year in bold, complete with the saint of the day and information about him or her. The app is an easy way to stay on top of the Catholic calendar and learn something new, but it also allows you to have the daily Mass readings, morning, mid-morning, midday, afternoon, evening and night prayers at your fingertips.
a service of CatholicWeb.com – FREE
Users gave it 4.5/5 stars
If you’re out and about and looking for a place to attend Mass, you can find a nearby church by allowing the app to access your current location or typing in an address and searching for a specific church. Once you click on the name of a parish, you’ll have the address, phone number, ability to get directions from your current location by selecting your way of transportation – walking, driving, bus route – and a link to the parish’s Web site, if it has one. You can also view the daily Mass readings, learn the saint of the day and watch Catholic TV Mass videos with this app.