Cardinal Parolin launches Catholic app for military personnel

ROME — Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, has encouraged men and women in the military to download a new app designed to connect them to the Catholic faith and bring them the consolation of prayer in times of war and uncertainty.

In a video message to active duty military and veterans taking part in an annual pilgrimage to Lourdes on May 13, Parolin said the “Catholic Military Connect” app is a useful tool that “will accompany you on your journey of faith.”

“I believe the app will be extremely helpful to all service members and especially to young men and women who in this important sector of public service are seeking to grow in personal friendship with Jesus Christ and in the understanding and appreciation of the beauty and richness of our Catholic faith,” he said.

The app, available for free in the Google Play and Apple App stores, was developed by Apostolat Militaire International, an organization dedicated to promoting Christian values ​​in military life, and Tweeting with God, an initiative that informs users on questions of faith.

The Catholic Military Connect app provides easy access to “answers to military questions, prayers for the military, testimonies, inspirational quotes and spiritual first aid,” according to a May 13 press release.

“During this difficult time, it is important to spread the Catholic Military Connect app to meet the spiritual needs of Catholic service members and give them comfort in whatever theater of operations they find themselves in,” the statement read.

In his message, Parolin conveyed greetings from Pope Francis “who often spoke of the dignity and importance of military services for the promotion of the cause of peace.”

“Your vital role in advancing the cause of peace, freedom and the common good has become all the more evident in recent weeks, even amidst the tragedy of war, in the role you have played in the large-scale planning and delivery of humanitarian aid to so many of our displaced and suffering brothers and sisters,” he added.

The Italian cardinal said in an “increasingly digital world”, the Catholic Military Connect app can help members of the armed forces share and build “a sense of brotherhood in our common faith, our pursuit of holiness and our efforts to bring the light of faith into our daily duties of service to the wider community.

The app, which also connects military personnel to chaplaincies around the world, “will be especially helpful” and “help build real, not just virtual, communities of worship,” Cardinal Parolin said.

“All of us, whatever position or role we play in society, are called to advance the gospel vision of a redeemed and reconciled world, in which all members of the human family can live in security, freedom, justice and peace,” he said.