Missal apps are becoming popular among Catholics but after failing to find an Australian version James McLoughlin decided to make one himself.
The parishioner at St Finbar’s parish at Glenbrook in the lower Blue Mountains teamed up with his sister-in-law Samantha Day to create a missal app for Australian users. Together they taught themselves computer programming, created and tested The Missal App over five years.
It is a complete Australian version of the Roman Catholic Missal that includes readings and responses including for Australia Day and ANZAC Day and has been approved for use by the Australian Bishops Commission for Liturgy.
It’s creation was labour of love alongside their demanding day jobs as Jim is a police officer, and Samantha a haematologist.
The Missal App automatically selects the correct prayers and readings for the day and provides multiple options where there is more than one feast, while liturgies such as nuptial, votive and requiem Masses are also included.
“I thought how hard could it be to make an app, and I found out that it actually is quite hard,” laughed James.
Both are daily Massgoers with Jim deciding to attend weekday Masses in addition to Sundays at a time when he was struggling in life.
“I just find it the simplest way to make progress in the spiritual life is to make use of the sacraments,” he said. “I think it really helps me to be a better person.”
The pair are offering the royalties of The Missal App to the Masso Foundation which runs a range of educational and community service activities in Australia and supports the Saxum Visitor Centre in the Holy Land.
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“One of the aims of Saxum is to promote an understanding of the Holy Land, and to be a source of education and harmony for anyone who might be interested, whether or not they have a Christian affiliation,” said Samantha.
It’s a project close to Jim’s heart since he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Rome seven years ago, while his sister-in-law is also more than happy to forego any proceeds from their joint project.
“I figure that if you’re not giving to people and looking outwardly, life is quite boring,” she said.
Mr David Bolton of the Masso Foundation said that he hopes The Missal App will help Australian Catholics get the most out of Mass. The app is for use on android devices and available at the Google Play Store for $4.99.