Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Catholic Church Embraces New Media: 'OneParish' App Now Being Used by Parishioners in Thousands of US Catholic Parishes

NOTRE DAME, Ind., Sept. 9, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- In response to Pope Francis' call to use technology to renew Catholic churches and their communities, Growing the Faith, a Catholic start-up founded by a team of Notre Dame alumni, has launched the OneParish smartphone app and SaaS platform for parishes.  It is the first complete system focused on bringing Catholic parishes into the mobile revolution, and it is already in use by parishioners at thousands of parishes in every state and dozens of countries worldwide.
The OneParish app is built on Pope Francis' vision of growing relationships among and within Catholic communities, by "letting us boldly become citizens of the digital world," and using new media to create an "environment rich in humanity."  This new media is already embraced by today's mobile Catholic and the OneParish app is designed with features based on feedback from users around the world.

The app includes everything a pastor needs to help his parishioners meaningfully engage their faith: daily Mass readings, Catholic talk radio, location-based Mass and Confession finder, and messages from Pope Francis himself.  It allows parishioners the ability to easily share inspirational content, engage with each other and their parish via a mobile parish directory, receive messages directly from their priest, and instantly donate to any parish in the country.

Since the average smartphone user checks their phone more than 100 times a day, OneParish is the most convenient and personal way to help Catholics deepen their faith and connect with their community.  "Despite being a church of 1 billion souls, no one has developed a system to truly unleash mobile technology in the service of our church family.  OneParish exists to answer that challenge," says Ryan Kreager, Growing the Faith's CEO and Co-Founder.

"It is vital for the new Evangelization that the Church engages our people through new media," says Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne - South Bend, who has given his blessing for OneParish to be used in his Diocese.  "OneParish does this in an innovative and exciting way, connecting parishioners with their parish communities, promoting growth in their faith and their vocation as disciples of Jesus and engaged members of his Church."

The OneParish web portal for churches allows priests and their staff to directly communicate with their flock, while allowing individuals to find parish resources and keep their social profile up to date.  New tools to help people reconnect with their community, give back in meaningful ways, and organize events and volunteers are slated for release by Christmas.  The OneParish system is very flexible: individuals will be able to follow calendars and events from other local parishes, and its messaging system allows a Bishop and his staff to connect with all the OneParish users in their Diocese.

Pastors can sign up for free at app.oneparish.com/parish/signup. Once signed up, they simply announce the app at Mass and in the bulletin.  The more parishioners who download the OneParish app, the more it helps both grow the faith community and assist the parish priest in his mission.

Growing the Faith, who created the OneParish app, was founded by Ryan Kreager and Shane O'Flaherty.  Ryan is a renowned thought leader in Catholic technology who helped create such apps as the Missio App personally launched by Pope Francis, the Rediscover App for the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis, and the first app ever to receive Church approval (an imprimatur), Confession:  A Roman Catholic App.  Shane O'Flaherty is a 24-year veteran of startups and the hospitality world, bringing his knowledge of world-class service to Catholic parishes.

"In 25 years in Silicon Valley, I've never seen a startup with users who love a product more than the users of OneParish," says Tim Connors, Growing the Faith investor and veteran venture capitalist.  "Ryan and Shane heard the call, and are amazing listeners to the needs of Catholics and their pastors.  They are just getting started."

OneParish is free for iOS and Android. For more info, visit www.oneparish.com.

Media Inquiries, Contact:
Shane O'Flaherty, Co-Founder and COO,

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