Opportunities in a challenging world
Many Catholic dioceses around the world face challenges, with decreasing Mass attendance, demographics of those practicing religion being skewed towards old age, decreasing revenues and a secular world gradually consuming more attention. At the same time, never have the opportunities been greater, and it is a good time to explore new ways of thinking.
A Reference Story
Two dioceses struggled with declining numbers of people coming to church and the demographics of church attendees being skewed towards older age. The huge numbers of tourists and visitors visiting their locations had challenges identifying correct Mass and Confession times, as websites were hard to find, had obsolete data and most pages on online maps about the churches had errors. The bishops of both dioceses were open to new ways in which information about church activities (incl. Mass and Confession) can be made much more accessible to people, including visitors and the younger generation. We provided those capabilities.
The deployment of the solution is still ongoing, but the ecosystem we created can be correlated with 700 000+ church visits, the mobile part of the solution is popular, and 70% of the users are under the age of 55.
Capabilities we can provide
We can provide various capabilities, adapted to your needs, including:
- Ways of helping more people to find and visit your churches.
- Ways of helping more Catholics to attend Mass and Confession.
- Ways of helping you to reach out to Catholics speaking many different languages.
- Ways of growing your physical and digital church communities.
- Ways of reaching out to the younger demographics in your parish life.
- Ways to reduce the communication workload of your priests
We believe the time has come, to explore new ways of thinking.
The Catholic App
The Catholic App ecosystem embodies this new way of thinking.
A Smart Companion and guide to your diocese
The Catholic App is perfectly adapted to your local diocese, and this smart companion provides information about Mass, Confession, people, churches, locations, news and more. The app user interface supports the most common languages in your diocese.
Truly Global & connected with the world
The Catholic App aims to be the universal local guide for Catholics: one app for the world. People use on average 30 apps per month. In a dynamic world, rather than trying to get users to install one app for every diocese, the Catholic App seamlessly connects everything in one experience, and encourages Catholic visitors to visit your diocese.
Multi-Lingual: Seven Languages
In order to be useful globally, and for visitors and tourists to your diocese, the Catholic App will soon support seven languages: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese and Polish. This allows visitors to instantly feel at home in your diocese, even if they don’t speak the local language, and we can add support for more languages.
Rejuvenate parish life & build communities
The app helps anyone to find parishes and instantly feel at home there. It helps to grow local communities by providing relevant information and connecting to the social media pages and news streams of every parish. It helps you to build both digital and physical communities, which sustain parish life.
An Intelligent Guide
The Catholic App understands where the user is, the time and schedule of Mass and Confession, and intelligently renders the relevant information instantly. It understands both regular and irregular schedules, local feast days and Holy Days of Obligation, and shows this in an accessible way to the user.
For rural areas and cities
The app works well both in cities but also in rural areas without Internet signal, far from civilization. The user can find Mass, Confession and churches completely without Internet, since those features just rely on the GPS signal.
The Catholic App uses Google Maps for navigating users to the church, for visually guiding the users and visualizing information.
Find Mass & Confession with a single tap
The ability for the user to find Mass and Confession with a single tap, was what made the app well-known originally. This type of spontaneous use helps the user to find Mass or Confession soon in time and near in space.
Integrated Smart Planning
Would your priests like to spend less time on answering phone calls about “When will this Mass take place?” etc. This app is first in the world to offer intelligent planning where the user can type any address in the diocese and provide a future time, to instantly get Mass and Confession results for then.
Supports finding Mass & Confession in different languages
The Catholic App has from the very start supported the feature that shows the language of the Mass or Confession, and the user can filter results to see Mass or Confession in the chosen language, if that is available in your diocese.
Smart Data Management
The data used in the app comes from data you collect before the launch, data update requests from parishes and crowd-sourcing from the faithful. The app can estimate & communicate the accuracy and completeness of its data, to the user. It works both with parishes which provide frequent & complete information, and those that provide incomplete information.
In-app News Distribution
The app provides an unlimited number of in-app news channels per diocese which can e.g. be used for announcements, sermons, appeals and newsletters. This mechanism does not collect any subscriber data, so it protects their privacy, and is compliant with GDRP. News items are distributed globally in real-time and can be archived in the app by the user.
It makes the complex simple
Rules about when and where Mass takes place can get complicated, and sometimes the location of Mass for a parish can move between different locations on different days. This is no problem for the app, which easily can guide the user to the right place at the right time. It makes the complex simple.
| Based on existing data, deploying the app ecosystem (described to the right) can be correlated with approx. 532 visits / church & month. We expect this to grow in the future.
Estimated Impact for your diocese per month =
# of churches in your diocese x
# average donation per visit x
Impact & Return on Investment
Digital transformation helps to bring the Church to life, and the app is one part of the Catholic App ecosystem, which also includes Google Maps pages, professional photos and reliable data supply. Use the formula to the left to estimate the ROI of embracing this ecosystem.
THE CATHOLIC APP
Download the global evaluation version for Android at Google Play here and the iPhone/iPad version here. We are regularly adding new features. For the moment, the app covers a part of Scotland and other dioceses are being added. When a diocese becomes a subscriber, the app can be launched in your area. Contact us using the form below for details.
OUR APP ON FACEBOOK
Any diocese in the world can subscribe to the Catholic App and have it launched in their area with their information. Simply express interest using the form below, and after a brief conversation we give you a quote for a monthly subscription. It is risk-free as you can cancel any time.
Assisting in 700 000+ church visits
The Catholic App ecosystem consists of the app, online map and navigation technologies, processes for collecting data and more. So far the impact of our work can be correlated with 700 000+ church visits. Moreover, 70% of the Catholic App users are under the age of 55. Any diocese or Bishops’ Conference in the world that prioritizes demographic sustainability, should explore this solution, since every week we have more and more evidence of its impact.
A web interface that gives you full control
A web interface is being developed for the Catholic App as to give you full control over your diocese data. It is included free of charge when you become a subscriber. Some of the initially offered functionality is:
- Give the authority to view and edit diocese data to one person or delegate it to many people across the diocese – even to individual parishes
- View and edit data about churches, their address, location, staff etc.
- View and edit data about Mass & Confession times, Feast Days, Holy Days of Obligation, days with irregular schedules etc.
- The ability to publish news items, both official news items (e.g. the Archbishop’s announcements) and news items (e.g. parish news, sermons, announcements) for individual parishes
Musemantik also delivers additional services which help dioceses to become truly digital, including:
- We recommend that you collect the initial data for launching the app in your diocese, and we provide advice and support. Alternatively, if you need assistance we can help to distill and collect data about churches, Mass and Confession times and make these digitally accessible.
- Helping make your churches to have a complete digital presence on online maps: Google Maps. The Catholic App benefits from these and works in unison with them. These online maps are used by 1-2 billion people worldwide and most dioceses have very poor-quality online map listings. The benefit of fixing this is that more people will find your churches and attend Mass. It also helps improve the accuracy of the navigation features in the Catholic App. There are many technical challenges in trying to fix Google Maps listings, but we have developed a specialized process which overcomes the hurdles and solves the problem for you.
- Taking high-quality church photos, to be used in online map listings and the Catholic App. Photos can have a big impact in the digital world, making churches more tangible and attractive to the digital audience. Otherwise, we can use or review your existing church photos free of charge.
DIOCESE/BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE EXPRESSION OF INTEREST
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: I represent a diocese or Bishops’ Conference and we want to have this app now. What should I do?
A: Contact us using the form above and we will get in touch to discuss how we can launch it in your area. We will work with dioceses on a “first come first served” basis.
Q: I am a Catholic and I want this app now. What should I do?
A: Call your diocese and ask them to express their interest by using the sign-up form above. You can also sign up as an individual for the newsletter below, but the diocese must get in touch before we can launch it in your territory.
Q: I represent a diocese or Bishops’ conference and the app sounds great but I feel we are behind on being “digital” (incl. behind in regards to websites, social media, placing churches on online maps, having correct information etc.)
A: Don’t worry, we can work with you and help you get these things right. If you have social media pages on Facebook, the app will help promote them. We can assist or advice you in compiling information that the Catholic App and other supportive technologies need, to make the users satisfied.
Q: Have you launched any other apps?
A: Yes, you can also download our Christian Meditation app for Android and for iOS or download our Android app for mental well-being or sign up for the iOS version and newsletter.
Q: How is your app unique?
A: This app is truly global while also truly local. It helps you to become demographically sustainable by reaching out to more Catholics. It was first officially announced in the Vatican (see the news section) and is result-focused: our ambition is to increase Mass attendance by working with you over time and configuring the app to give you the best results in your diocese. We believe that we can achieve this since we take responsibility for the product over time, will constantly measure its performance and improve it based on global best practices. For this reason, any diocese that signs up for the app will get free product upgrades for a substantial time. The priority is to serve the Catholics in your diocese, but we will market the app globally and bring you visitors from other dioceses and make sure they quickly can find their way and participate actively in your diocese. Also, we take design and usability seriously, to make sure the users will keep using the app over time.
The Catholic App, completely customized for you
The Catholic App is the most ambitious global initiative of its kind, and was announced in the Vatican at end of the Year of Mercy in 2016. This app ecosystem is focused on delivering measurable spiritual, social and financial value for dioceses across the world, such as increasing Mass and confession attendance, by changing minds and hearts of Catholics. This is achieved using the state of the art technology that incentives and inspires individuals and adapts information in an intelligent and personal way.
• The app is completely customized with data about your diocese or bishops’ conference. When it is used in your territory the name of your diocese and relevant information is shown. It feels wholly local. It is fully localized to use the language(s) in your country or region, both in the app store descriptions and the user interface.
• If you want the app to cover a whole country/bishops’ conference, you have even more control over what it is called and how it appears in your area. We can translate it to any languages supported by the Android and iOS operating systems.
• We market the app to Catholics around the world, so when they come to your area they more likely to already have it installed. Some Catholics might even plan their visits to your diocese(s) because they already know in advance how to engage with the religious activities where they are going. It is global.
• We add new features to the app and they appear there without your effort or you having to buy a new product. It feels fresh and you benefit from the insights we gain by delivering the app to dioceses around the world.
Contact us to discuss different data maintenance options. By default, you provide us with the complete data for the launch in your area. After launch there are various options, contact us to find an option that suits you. Once our web interface is ready you will be able to have complete control over your data and update it directly using the web or distribute the responsibility among different parishes.
Creating a separate app for you
We believe that being part of the global Catholic App, customized for your area, provides you with superior value, since you become a part of a global network. However, If there are some particular reasons for why you would like a completely separate app, this applies:
• We build an app for you based on an agreed specification.
• The app can be for Catholics or other Christian denominations.
• You take responsibility for maintaining the data using a web interface
IN THE NEWS
As the Catholic App is a global initiative there have been hundreds of articles written about it after the announcement in November 2016. Here is a selection:
CATHOLIC HERALD: Scottish archbishop launches Mass-finding app
WORLD RELIGION NEWS: The Catholic App, Nicknamed ‘SINDR,’ Helps You Get To Confession
ROME REPORTS: GPS app launched to find Mass and confession time (video)
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