The Vatican states “Click to Pray 2.0” offers a better digital worship experience.
The latest version brings new functions, including a “personal prayer planner” that allows users to schedule their daily prayer activities and receive reminders of times to pause mundane activities and turn attention to God.
Father Frederic Fornos was present as one of the seven people who introduced the new version. In addition to Fornos, there was another priest, a cardinal, and four Catholic Church officials. Fornos emphasizes the importance of this application for prayer activities.
“Praying for one another is not a waste of time, as we sometimes think. Nor is it a waste of time to pray beside someone we love or who is sick. Prayer is like a seed in the darkness of the earth, which will bear fruit in its time,” he explained.
The app, which is available in six Western and Chinese languages, gives users the opportunity to pray with Pope Francis for various purposes, for example, peace in the Middle East.
The app also offers a “School of Prayer”, which provides support to those who are struggling to start a life of worship, and the opportunity to form prayer groups.
The Vatican has increased its social media presence under Pope Francis by leveraging almost every major platform. Vatican officials say more than 50 million people, almost every day, listen to the Pope’s series of tweets on various social justice issues.
Father Cosima Schena, who was present at the launch event, welcomed the new version of the app, when met by Reuters news agency in St. Peter’s Square.
“This is amazing because it allows us to reach people we don’t physically meet. It becomes a bridge to reach hearts that sometimes stray from God,” he explained.
Lidia Morera, a young Spanish tourist at the Vatican was also impressed.
“I think it’s very good because it can bring the younger generation closer to religion, even though the changes may not be significant.”
Asked if the new app could even encourage tech-savvy Catholics to return to prayer, Lucio Ruiz, secretary of the Vatican’s communications department, said, “Of course, because this app makes it easier for you to do something that was once considered difficult.”
However, Ruiz said, this application was not developed to replace traditional prayer activities.
“This app is not meant to replace existing places of worship or ways of praying. It is one approach to reach people who want or need a new way of worship.” [ab/ka]