The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI, Latin Rite) has introduced a mobile application aimed at offering a comprehensive range of services and resources to the Catholic community across the nation. Unveiled on January 30 during the plenary assembly at St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences in Bengaluru by CCBI president Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrão, the Catholic Connect App seeks to revolutionize the digital landscape within the global Catholic community, with a specific focus on India, as stated by Father Stephen Alathara, CCBI deputy secretary general.
Described as a tool poised to seamlessly blend technology with faith, the app is anticipated to instigate positive changes within the Catholic sphere, promoting a sense of unity, communication, and enhanced user experience both locally and internationally. It is projected to cater to diverse needs by providing access to Church services such as health insurance, education, employment opportunities, and emergency aid, in addition to aiding users in locating nearby churches and accessing various Church services within India.
The app’s innovative approach is expected to mark the dawn of a new era, facilitating efficient communication, resource allocation, and community management. By acting as a hub for information regarding Catholic institutions, entities, and associations, alongside delivering timely news updates from the conference’s 14 regions, the app underscores its commitment to keeping users abreast of local developments, thus fostering a deeper sense of community and connection among users, irrespective of their geographical location.
Moreover, the app is anticipated to serve as a vital link for Catholics to connect with their parishes and dioceses, offering dedicated sections for “My Parish” and “My Diocese,” which encompass information, event updates, notice boards, announcements, and obituaries. During the registration process, users can select their respective parishes and dioceses, further enhancing their engagement with their local Catholic communities.
Additionally, the app features a designated space for CCBI Commissions, where their activities, training sessions, and programs are showcased. This interactive platform empowers commission secretaries to directly showcase their initiatives, thereby amplifying the reach and impact of CCBI’s diverse programs.
The inception of the app traces back to the decision made by CCBI’s 88th executive committee in May 2022 to develop a database application to foster connectivity within the Catholic community in India. Following this decision, the trial version of the app was launched on September 21, 2023, during the CCBI 92nd executive committee meeting.