Top Ten Catholic Apps – Updated!!!

I’m making a major change to my “Top Ten iPhone Apps” list.

First, my #1 Catholic app – iPieta – just got better! I contacted them a month or so ago and asked them to update their Vulgate Bible “critical edition” to the classic “Clementine edition” (If you don’t know the difference, read: Which Vulgate do you have?).

They have now updated iPieta with the proper version (i.e. Clementine), and also added many more books and prayers. I simply love it. If you have an iPhone and don’t have iPieta. Go right now and get it!


Second, I’m dropping iBreviary out of the #2 slot and removing it from the Top Ten List altogether. {* see updated note below}

I once used iBreviary five times a day for 8 months. I loved it. It the Liturgy of the Hours in my pocket. Well, they “updated” the application and I’ve had nothing but trouble with it

So I’ve removed iBreviary from the list and replaced it with the “Divine Office” app. This one is $14.99 – I know, much more expensive, but it is so smooth and nice. Well worth the money. It gives you the whole liturgy of hours and downloads future days while you pray the office – no waiting!!! The only problem is no Latin option as on the iBreviary.

* 1 July 2010: Father Paolo Padrini of iBreviary contacted me about this post and explained that iBreviary is still undergoing updating and improvements. Many of the kinks are being worked out. The jury is still out, but I’m sure that iBreviary will return to its former glory. I’ll add here that I do really miss the option included in iBreviary for praying the Liturgy of the Hours in Latin. That was a nice detail, something no longer available to me on Divine Office app.

Here’s the Top Ten Catholic Apps:

10. Catholic Quote of the Day ($1.99)
This simple daily app program will provide you with over three years worth of daily inspirational quotes from Saints, Popes and other holy and inspired Catholic people. Simple swipe program provides an inspirational nugget each time you open the app.

9. Answers for Catholics ($1.99)
Use this application to quickly access a Biblical verse or subject when someone questions the reason you believe in a certain Catholic Doctrine, Discipline or World View. If you are not familiar with the subject or feel comfortable speaking to it – play the short video or even sit down and play the longer audio for the person asking you a question about your faith. Study the Bible Verses and get to know your faith from God’s Word when you are passing time or sitting on an airplane.

8. Recordatio ($1.99)
A collection of all papal encyclicals of the last fifty years. Pretty nice to have with you at all times. If you get the iPieta app (my #1 pick), then all these encyclicals come with it so you won’t need Recordatio.

7. Catholic Calendar Universalis (free version)
The free version gives you a great liturgical calendar, the Liturgy of Hours and the Daily Mass reading. It’s not as good as iBreviary (featured below) because the translations are not the official ones so you can’t pray the Liturgy of the Hours with others. You also have to download the Liturgy of the Hours day by day. If want it all in one place, you have to pay for the $24.99 version…

6. Universalis ($24.99 version)
The $24.00 version gives you everything at Universalis as a download so that you don’t need to download the prayers day by day. This would be nice if you live in an area that has little or no wi-fi.

5. Mass Times – Catholic Church Finder (free)
So you’re traveling and you need to get to Mass. If you’re like me, it’s difficult to find Mass times on the web sites of local Catholic parishes (epecially if you’re browsing these sites on your iPhone). If you also have this problem, you need the Mass Times app. By teaming up with CatholicWeb.com and TheCatholicDirectory.com database, Mass Times helps you find the closest parish along with Mass times (and Confession times).

4. VerseWise RSV-CE Bible ($4.99)
Pretty expensive for a Bible app, but this is the RSV-Catholic Edition. This version is also known as the “Ignatius Press Bible” (though this version isn’t published by Ignatius Press. I’ve been waiting for this one for some time. At last, here it is.

3. iMissal ($4.99)
This is a great little app with the daily readings for Mass. You can listen to them and you can also adjust the font size. It comes with a nice collection of prayers with the possibility of emailing them to friends.

2. Divine Office ($14.95)
Divine Office is the best app for praying the Liturgy of the Hours because in English. It also has audio recordings of each office – but I don’t use them.

I only wish that it included the Daily Mass readings. This app has replaced iBreviary for me every since iBreviary “updated” for the worse. I’m placing Divine Office as number two, which shows how much I like it.

1. iPieta ($2.99)
I’ve got to thank my friend Kevin Branson of the “Journey to Rome” blog for turning me on to this app. It just barely beats the iBreviary. I’d pay $20 for iPieta if they asked that much for it. There is also a Spanish version. Fortunately, they only ask $2.99. Here’s what you get in one single app:

• The Douay-Rheims and Latin Vulgate Bibles
• Baltimore Catechisms #1, #2, & #3; Catechism of Christian Doctrine, the Roman Catechism
• Catechism of St. Thomas Aquinas
• Both the Ordinary (Novus Ordo) and Extraordinary (Tridentine) Calendars with access to the day’s Gospel and Reading(s) from the D-R & Vulgate.
• Numerous devotions including a version of the Little Office of Our Lady, the 33-Day Total Consecration Preparation, Novenas to the Holy Spirit and to the Divine Mercy, St. Alphonsus Stations of the Cross, and the St. Bridget 1-Year and 12-Year Prayers.
• Spiritual writings by St. Louis Marie de Montfort, St. Teresa of Jesus, St. John of the Cross, St. Catherine of Siena, the Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas, the Imitation of Christ, Introduction to Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales, selections by St. Jean-Marie Vianney, and the Treatise on Purgatory by St. Catherine of Genoa. The Summa (apart from the Supplement) is also in Latin.
• Papal Encyclicals
• Ecumenical Council Documents
• Scriptural passages for meditating on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary
• Examination of Conscience
• Saint Notes (incomplete and in progress)

I’d love some feedback. Did I miss any great Catholic apps?

Cast your votes: Which is the best Catholic app out there?

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  • Ryan

    Taylor, you should consider adding “Mysteries of the Holy Rosary” App to your Top 10.  This is the App Store’s most popular Rosary with 40,000 downloads and counting!.  Plus, it’s free!
    http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=334113514&mt=8&s=143441

    Learn more about the app at http://caritasetveritas.com/iphone/ and http://caritasetveritas.com/2010/03/our-rosary-app-for-the-iphone-reaches-25000-downloads/

  • Alan Phipps

    “Well, they “updated” the [iBreviary] application and I’ve had nothing but trouble with it. It’s practically useless.”

    That’s interesting – what trouble have you had with it? I found the update (iBreviary Pro) to be vast improvement functionally and aesthetically, and I feel more inclined to use it now.  I still prefer the physical book.

  • Rob

    You missed one of the best apps out there…the St. Josemaria app that has  all of his writings as well as the daily norms for members of Opus Dei.

  • Taylor Marshall

    Great! I look into it.
    ad Jesum per Mariam,
    Taylor
    On Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 12:13 PM, Echo <
    js-kit-m2c-TKDRP94EHF0HME33B7HB18TD12HUTI4Q0N6B8AVMA6PHA9TT4BEG@reply.js-kit.com

  • Taylor Marshall

    Alan,
    Does you “load” the office every time you open it? That’s the main problem
    for me. In other words, it’s loads the whole office (a long time, especially
    if you’re on 3G) each time you want to pray.
    The old way only needed loaded once per day.
    ad Jesum per Mariam,
    Taylor

  • Will Heath

    Just as an update on Universalis… They now give you the option of using the English translation approved for the liturgy.
    Also, you should consider adding the LiberPro — the Liber Usualis, in iPhone form.

  • Ryan Ellis

    Not really an app, but you might consider bookmarking a link to Laszlo’s “Divinum Officium” on your iPhone or iPad.  That gets you a Latin/English breviary in the Extraordinary Form (and prior).

  • Ryan Ellis

    I also enjoy the “Sunrise” app, which you can use in conjunction with your Office.  It allows you to try to pray your hours close to the corresponding time of the day.

  • Alan Phipps

    Yeah it does load it every time.  I can see how that might be an issue, but it hasn’t bothered me too much yet.  But then I don’t use the app nearly as much as you used it.

  • Greg Graham

    I also use the Kindle Reader with various Catholic books, including the Ignatius Bible. I like the page-turning user-interface of the Kindle Reader for just reading the Bible better than most Bible programs that scroll through a chapter at a time. However, for looking up verses, the dedicated Bible software is better. I’m using the Kindle Ignatius Bible for Lectio Divina where I’m going through whole books of the Bible.

  • dbonneville

    I wrote a simple but beautiful Rosary App called “Rosary Gems” that is an easy to use Rosary with no frills, but has a unique interface. It has the Mysteries and all the prayers. You can operate the whole thing with one click. It’s a very focused app with no user interface distractions or complicated settings. I wrote it primarily for myself, since I couldn’t find a simple, one-screen Rosary app that didn’t have some level of distraction involved with running it. Once you’ve used it a few times, you can pretty much run it with your eyes closed and just check with quick blink to check your progress. I personally use it all the time, and I’m glad to be able to share it with other lovers of the Rosary.

    http://bonfx.com/iphone-rosary-app-gem

    As an artist and designer, as well as programmer, I took the time specifically to design this with an appeal to men. It has a dark, worn leather look with a touch of gold to it. To me, it has a masculine “key ring” gadget kind of feel, and has none of the bright artwork that some of the other apps have.

    You can never have too many Rosaries, or Rosary apps! I own just about everything on the list above and love them all!

  • Phyllis Crespo

    I am looking for an app that has Sunday readings with a meditation. Any suggestions?