The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines unveiled on Wednesday, September 8, a smartphone application that aims to help people “grow and share their faith.”
The FaithWatch app is designed to help users find the nearest church to avail of services, such as schedules of livestreamed Masses and other sacraments.
The app also features biblical reflections and catechetical materials in video and digital format — and even news, among others.
Archbishop Charles Brown, papal nuncio to the Philippines, lauded the new app, which he said is “really useful” during this time of the pandemic and a “very valuable tool” for Catholics.
“As your apostolic nuncio here in the Philippines (IT) gives me a lot of joy to recommend to you this new Catholic app for your cell phone,” Brown said.
“I am certain, as representative of Pope Francis, that this new FaithWatch app will help all of us live the gift of our faith and help us transmit it to others,” he said.
Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, president of the bishops’ conference, said the new app is a “gift” to the Church during the pandemic that “badly hampered our regular and normal ways and channels of catechesis and evangelization.”
With the prevailing situation, he said many dioceses and parishes have become creative in using the internet and maximizing its possibilities for communication.
“I am quite sure that we all consider this (FaithWatch app) as another big help, as another gift as it were for our use as we continue to meet the many challenges of the task of the new evangelization and missio ad gentes,” said Archbishop Valles.
The FaithWatch app is the latest project of the CBCP Media office in collaboration with Areopagus Communications, Inc. and Heart of Francis Foundation.
The app can be downloaded both in android and IOS devices.
The head of the CBCP Commission on Social Communications welcomed the app “that responds to this challenge and present need of our church”.
Bishop Marcelino Antonio Maralit of Boac, commission chairman, said he will encourage the faithful to download and share the app, which he described as “very useful, practical, convenient, and timely.”
“Life goes on for all of us in spite of this pandemic. We are just living in this world of changes, and with these changes are the opportunities to be blessed and become ourselves, blessing,” he said.
Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III, CBCP Media Office director, said the app “wishes to reach out to the ‘unchurched’ populating social media through vlogs and other contents produced and formatted with ‘missio ad gentes’ in mind.”
Quitorio said the app is also the CBCP Media Office’s “gift to the Church on the 500th Year of Christianity in the Philippines… the ‘missio ad gentes’ in cyberspace.”