By Genevieve Pollock
SOUTH BEND, Indiana, MARCH 5, 2010 (Zenit.org).- A new iTunes application is being offered to give busy people a way of praying the Stations of the Cross anytime, anywhere.
Ave Maria Press announced the launch of this application, which is being offered as a free download for the iPhone and iPod touch.
It was created “with busy people in mind and is the perfect pocket devotional,” the press release noted. It is also a helpful resource for those who cannot always make it out the parish Lenten devotions.
One of the first users, Mary Ann Johnson, affirmed, “I needed a way to do the Stations of the Cross at home and this was most enjoyable and prayerful.”
“At 60 years of age,” she said, “I know that this will be the way of the future. I would like to see more applications like this.”
The press release recalled the words of Benedict XVI for World Communications Day, when he urged the faithful to “proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources (images, videos, animated features, blogs, websites) which, alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelization and catechesis.”
Catholic gadget geeks
Dianna Leinen, Institutional Marketing Coordinator at Ave Maria Press, explained to ZENIT the inspiration behind the initiative.
“This past Christmas I received an iPhone as a gift,” she said, “and immediately became hooked on downloading applications of all kinds.”
“I found a vibrant community of Catholic ‘gadget geeks’ like myself looking for Catholic iPhone content,” Leinen stated. “This led me to wonder how Ave Maria Press resources might also find a home in this new technology.”
“The Stations of the Cross app is an exciting introduction because it combines a beautiful user interface with rich Catholic reflections that encourage prayer anytime, anywhere,” she concluded.
The program employs paintings by Michael O’Brien to allow users to pray the Stations of the Cross at any time and location.
The prayer companion is based on “John Paul II’s Biblical Way of the Cross” by Amy Welborn and Michael Dubruiel.
In this form, introduced by John Paul II in 1991, the 14 stations begin with a meditation on Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, and include a contemplation of Peter’s denial of Christ, the scourging and crowning with thorns, and the moment Jesus promised to bring the Good Thief to Paradise.
Tom Grady, publisher of Ave Maria Press, said, “We are delighted to explore creative digital ways of keeping our readers connected to God through prayer.”
He expressed the hope that “many will take advantage of this free prayer resource.”
An increasing number of Catholic applications have already been developed for iPhone and iPod users, such as a Catholic calendar, guides for praying the rosary and confession, a directory of parish Mass times in various countries, and a Catholic trivia game.
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On the Net:
Stations of the Cross: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stationsofthecross/id356477905