By Lynn LeCluyse
WASHINGTON (CNS) — If you want a daily reminder to recite the Nicene Creed, there’s an app for that.
Little i Apps LLC recently announced the release of its latest Catholic mobile application, “Wake Up to the Creed.”
Developed using the creative ideas of Father Brett Brannen, author of “To Save A Thousand Souls: A Guide for Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood,” the 99 cent app works like an alarm clock that alerts users all over the world to pray the Nicene Creed at customized times of the day.
Father Brannen, a priest of the Diocese of Savannah, Ga., who recentlycompleted five years as vice rector of Mount St. mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., developed the app as an easy way to help Catholics memorize the new translation of the creed, as some are still adjusting to words such as “consubstantial.” He also wanted to embrace now-retired Pope Benedict XVI’s request that Catholics prayerfully participate in the Year of Faith.
“I felt like the idea came from the Holy Spirit, so I began to explore it more” Father Brannen said in a phone interview with the Catholic News Service.
The Nicene Creed reads in part: “I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible, and in one Lord Jesus Christ, … begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father.”
With no knowledge about how to develop a mobile app, the priest made some phone calls to gather information.
“I remembered a confession app that came out so I called a friend of mine to ask who the developer was for that, and I found this company called Little i Apps,” he said.
After Father Brannen told Little i Apps — a company run by three Catholic men — about his plan, they agreed to help.
“They’re just very devout Catholic men themselves,” he said. “I told them I’m not trying to make money, but I’m very active in the promotion of diocesan priesthood.”
Brannen said the “Wake up to the Creed” app stresses the importance of the Nicene Creed as a solemn profession of faith and the official statement of what Catholic Christians believe.
“We often pray it without thinking about what it truly means,” he said. “To wake up every morning listening to those words, I think it’s a great way to start your day.”
Father Brannen first tried using prayer cards to encourage people to say the creed, but the cards were small and easy to lose.
Using the “Wake Up to the Creed” app, iPhone users hear the chime of bells followed by a voice praying the Nicene Creed, while Android users receive a push notification followed by a voice praying the creed. Users can choose from a variety of languages including English, Spanish, French, Polish, and Latin. Some languages provide the option of either a male or female voice.
“I think the app is beneficial because it helps address the problem of teaching the new creed in a different way,” Patrick Leinen, co-founder, programmer and designer for Little i Apps, LLC, said. “Rather than trying to memorize the new words on paper or prayer cards, the ability to actually hear the words aloud using the app makes it easier to take in and learn those changes.”
After devising a plan for the app, it took just three to four weeks to create. Although he described it as an enjoyable experience, Father Brannen said the biggest challenge in creating the app was working out the kinks.
“They would tell me certain aspects weren’t working well, and we were eventually able to get those things fixed,” he said. “But that’s all part of the process, that’s the way apps are developed.”
Father Brannen said he hopes that people will come to love their faith more through the app by starting their day in prayer.
“Starting the day off with faith — I think that’s what was desired for the Year of Faith,” he said.
“Wake Up to the Creed” can be purchased on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. All proceeds go toward promoting vocations to diocesan priesthood in the U.S. and throughout the world.
“It’s not just for the Year of Faith,” Father Brannen said. “We hope people will continue to use it long after the Year of Faith is over.”