The Deacon's Bench

Leave it to the innovative media wizards in the Archdiocese of Boston to come up with a church-finder app for your iPhone.

From the Boston Globe:

vat one.pngIn the latest example of an ancient institution deploying the latest technology, the Archdiocese says a free iPhone app is available that will display all the nearest Catholic churches and, if desired, show directions to the church.

“We wanted to develop a tool for the website and for the iPhone that makes it easy for Catholics to locate any of our parishes, particularly those along their commute route after work,” Scot Landry, the archdiocesan secretary for Catholic Media said in a statement.

The tool might come in handy, officials said, for Catholics during the church’s Advent season push to get Catholics to come to confession.

The archdiocese is repeating its “The Light Is On For You” campaign from Lent, urging people to take the sacrament of penance on the evenings of Dec. 15 and Dec. 22.

“Our research from Lent indicated that many of the 30,000 Catholics went to confessions at a parish different from their home parish,” Landry said. “The iPhone app is wonderful, as a Catholic can push one button that will show all the nearby parishes immediately.”

“What we’re trying to do is just make it easier to find these parishes,” he said in a telephone interview.

So what’s a Catholic with a Droid phone to do?

Never fear. Landry said in a telephone interview that eventually the archdiocese would make Droid apps, but it began with the iPhone app because it already had experience with making iPhone apps that let people read the church’s Pilot newspaper or watch clips from Catholic TV.

The archdiocese already offers a Web-based church locator service on

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