Recommended for the season of Advent:
Three-minute "retreats" online with Loyola Press.
BestAdventEver by Matthew Kelly at Dynamic Catholic.
Or try these other Catholic sights:
Busted Halo, a very lively site for young adults, run by the Paulists.
American Catholic, a somewhat more relaxed, but very thorough site, run by the Franciscans. Also has a "Saint of the Day" feature.
Catholics Come Home, a site for returning Catholics, inquirers from other faith traditions, and Catholics seeking to learn more about their faith.
Radiate LA, a bi-lingual website hosted by the LA Archdiocese with a variety of features including Saints and Traditions, Prayer, works of Mercy and the joyful witness of Catholics living their faith.
Cardinal Mahony also has a blog, but so far is rather inconsistent in keeping it current.
Grace Before Meals, with Fr. Leo Patalinghug, is a kind of wacky, "foodie"-oriented multi-media website, that just might have broad appeal.
Gratefulness.org a network for grateful living and good stewardship
ForYourMarriage.org has something for every couple, whether dating, engaged, newly-married, married with children, "empty nesters" or retired. Offered by the US Catholic Bishops. Fabulous!
Online Retreat is a feature of the website of Creighton University, a Jesuit school in Nebraska. Click "Online Retreat" on its Home Page.
Angelus, our Archdiocesan weekly newspaper is online.
Vietnamese Catholic Community is the website supervised by Fr. John Tran for the international
Recommended Catholic applications:
iBreviaryPro (Free): This app, which I’ve been using for over a year, can be a life saver. Last year my campus minister, seated next to me at a student Mass, whipped her head around and turned white as a sheet. “I forgot to put the Gospel in the binder!” She whispered during the Psalm. I calmly fished under my alb, pulled out my iPhone, fired up the app and had the Gospel ready by the time I made it to the lectern. It includes the Office readings for the day and, as a bonus, all the parts of the Mass for a presider. Plus, all the readings update automatically when you turn the app on—in five different languages, no less! The only downside is that it requires a data connection. If our chapel had been a signal dead spot, I would have been sunk.
Universalis ($24.99): This is from the super-useful Universalis software house, whose goal is to “harness computer technology to help enrich the spiritual lives of Christians.” The app contains all the readings within the app itself, so it doesn’t matter if you are on top of Mount Everest (although I read recently they have 3G coverage there now), you can get your daily readings and pray the Office with out a wireless connection. Exceptionally well organized and easy to navigate, this is best of the daily reading and Office apps I reviewed. Two caveats about the app: First, the price. In a world of 99 cent apps, $25 will give some people pause, but this is clearly a case of getting what you pay for. The app replaces both a lectionary and a breviary (not to mention being much easier to carry) so the price tag shouldn’t be a sticking point, in my opinion. My second quibble is a priest-centric one: I wish the app also provided the parts of the Mass.
Divine Office ($14.99): This app has all the functions of the apps above, automatically figuring out the date and bringing up the readings for the time of day. The feature that sets it apart is that it will also download audio files of the prayers of the hours so that you can listen to a group of people praying, and pray with them. Ideal for quiet time on a train or bus or even over your car audio system during your commute. Another neat feature: by tapping on a globe icon you see a map showing where other people are using the app around the world. This gives you a real sense of praying with universal church.
iCatholicRadio & Radio Vaticana (Free & $3.99 cents respectively): These apps stream audio from Catholic radio stations. iCatholicRadio streams from Holy Family Communications, which features shows ranging from Catholic call-ins to the recordings of Bishop Fulton Sheen. The user interface needs work—it doesn’t have the buttery smoothness usually associated with Apple—but it works fine. It can also stream the audio in the background so you can listen while you navigate to another app. Radio Vaticana does the same thing, only it offers a direct line to the broadcasts of the Vatican Radio in several different languages. Good for a change of pace.
3-Three Minute Retreat (99 cents): The Irish Jesuits started a Web site several years ago that leads you through a quick reflection for your day. Loyola Press has taken this idea and applied it to the portable world. Each day it supplies you with a brief reflection set to placid music in either English or Spanish. It follows the Ignatian arc of settling down to pray, reading Scripture, reflecting and deciding act. It is a simple, straightforward app that does exactly what it says.
Mass Times (Free): For sheer useful simplicity, this app was probably the best one I reviewed. It uses your location to find the nearest parish and gives you the Mass times at those locations. You can also search for a particular church and bookmark your favorites. A sponsored banner pops up every once in a while, but that’s how they make the app free. This is a must-have for Catholics on the move who like to find a Mass wherever they go.
Magnificat online or iPhone: https://www.magnificat.net/english/iphoneweb.asp (subscription)
iMissal Catholic (Mass Reading, Calendar, Lectionary) (iTunes Store)
iMissal offers a full liturgical calendar, daily Mass readings, the Order of the Mass, Mass videos from CatholicTV.com, unique Bible verses for every day of the year (in three different Bible translations), and over 80 of the most popular Catholic prayers. (visit website)
iPieta (Catholic Teaching, Calendar, and Prayer) (iTunes Store)
iPieta is "for all those who want to gain access to a vast library of Catholic documents, teachings, writings,prayers, and calendars. With the iPieta App, these Catholic Treasures are readily available, at home or on the go, for teaching, on the spot apologetics, and for the benefit of your own soul and those around you." (visit website)
Prayer 2000+ Catholic Prayers by DivineOffice.org (iTunes Store)
Featuring prayers in "English, Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, French," Prayer 2000+ bills itself as an "Easy-to-use, multi-language Christian Prayers database" and "The ultimate reference to Catholic Prayers for your iPhone and iPod Touch!" (visit website)