A Mobile App that Provides a
Daily Journey of Catholic Discovery and Re-Discovery
Frequently Asked Questions By Parishes
What is ParishWorld?
ParishWorld consolidates and produces online faith-based publications for Catholic parishes and their members. Through our publications, we provide information and editorials that help build a stronger faith base among our readers and everyone who come in contact with them.
What is our Mission?
Evangelization - to spread the Good News of Jesus to all corners of the world. Our mission is called The New Evangelization -- the use of new media to spread the Good News to the under-Catechized and to the fallen-away. And yes even to non-believers. We glorify God by being faithful stewards of all that is entrusted to us and by promoting Christian discipleship among all people. And today as our universal Catholic Church embarks on the Year of Evangelization, this ParishWorld mission takes on an ever bigger significance.
What is the biggest issue our Parishes face today?
Communication. Truly effective Evangelization programs and Stewardship campaigns can only happen with an effective Communication program in place. This is the basic issue facing Parishes everywhere. The pastor's 10-minute homily every week is simply not enough to effectively teach Catholics-in-the-pews about our Catholic faith. Ask yourself why the average RCIA candidate knows more about our Catholic faith than the 50-year Catholic in the pew? The mission of ParishWorld is to address this situation.
What are three of the basic realities of Parish life today?
ONE, 95% of Catholics in the pews are under-Catechized. Only 1 in 5 Catholics attend Mass every week. TWO, 90-95% of Parish members remain relatively uninformed about what's going on in the parish. THREE, Parish participation is a perpetual problem with roughly 10% of the members doing 90% of the work.
Why must Parishes evangelize online?
Because 67% of all web surfers today use it for religious purposes - that's 2 out of 3. And because this is the "Year of Evangelization" as designated by the Vatican. Ignoring this evangelization opportunity simply runs contrary to our Chist-imposed apostolic mandate. In February 2008, the Vatican said, "A parish that does not evangelize is no more than just a building. We need to move from a maintenance model to an evangelization model. If all we do is maintain our buildings, we will die spiritually." So true. We at ParishWorld believe that this mandate also applies to the online presence of every Catholic Parish.
But what if we already have a Parish Website?
Almost every Parish in the U.S. has a website. But whether Parishes admit it or not, the fact is almost all of these websites have very little or close to zero viewership. It's the simple hard truth.
And why do most Parish websites fail?
Absence of relevant and dynamic Content. The overwhelming majority of Parish websites -- even the most expensive ones -- fail to generate repeat viewership because they have static content. When articles do not change, readers have no pragmatic reason to keep coming back.
Why must our Parish embrace the Mobile platform?
Because Mobile phones have taken over today's world. Studies show that 85% of Mobile users use their phones throughout the day. By the end of 2013, there will be more Mobile phones than the number of people in the world. And now that Mobile has emerged as the undisputed preferred way to surf the web, Parish websites will predictably continue to experience even larger declines in viewership numbers. Unless, of course, they go Mobile.
Can't we just launch a Mobile version of our current Parish website?
You surely can. But it will not be a Mobile App. It will just be a Mobile version of the same failed Parish website model. That Mobile version will simply mirrror the website's absence of interesting content. It simply is bound to fail as well.
What is the ParishWorld Mobile App?
It is two things in one. FIRST - for the Catholic Individual, it is the quintessential universal Catholic App that is successfully built around delivering Content. Lots of Catholic Content. The App allows the average Catholic to read a non-stop stream of curated feeds from the widest collection of Roman Catholic resources ever assembled on the Internet -- writers, theologians, bloggers, websites, lay people and Clergy members. And SECOND - for the Catholic Parish, the App offers our Basic Parish Service. It is a GPS-enabled worldwide Catholic church finder that displays Mass Times for Parishes, addresses and phone numbers as well as navigational directions.
Can the App be used for prayer?
Of course. Each time your Parish members launch the Mobile App, they embark on a wonderful personal journey of Catholic discovery and re-discovery. They can start with a Daily Prayer journey featuring the day's Mass Readings, Saint of the Day, Liturgy of the Hours and more. They can immerse themselves in our Catholic faith throughout the day. They can pour over an endless feed of fresh Faith and Bible articles, plus Catechetical and Catholic Living stories that stream non-stop to their mobile device 24/7.
Can articles on the APP be shared forward?
Definitely. It is the cimply Catholic way and it is highly encouraged. If you or your Parish members like any article in the App -- either syndicated by us or generated by the Parish -- tell them to share with friends and family by email as well as through the most popular social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) portals.
Will this App support other foreign languages?
It supports English and Spanish right now. Future editions of ParishWorld Mobile will include full editorial versions in several other languages.
Why are there Spanish Articles in the Mobile App?
First of all, Hispanics are the largest and fastest growing bloc within the US Catholic Church. All US Parishes are encouraged to be more accomodating and welcoming to our Hispanic Catholic brethren. Secondly, Parishes must learn to recognize that online presences like Parish Websites and Mobile devices have a viewer base that extends beyond the demographic boundaries of the Parish. People out there are watching. Offering Spanish articles help spread God's Good News to this wider virtual audence. And finally, offering Spanish articles can act to attract more Catholics - albeit Hispanic Catholics - to your Parishes and help build up your Faith communities.
How does the ParishWorld Mobile App encourage frequent readership?
Let's face it. If the Parish version of the Mobile App displayed Parish articles exclusively, viewers will not be motivated enough to come back frequently. By streaming additional articles from a wide range of Catholic sources, plus articles from a wider range of interesting subjests like News and Lifestyle, the reader is more inclined to check the Parish Mobile App several times a day.
Is there a fee for all of these?
FIRST, individual Catholics from any Parish in the world can go to their Mobile phone's App market and download a Free version of the App called "ParishWorld Free." For a miniscule fee, these individual Catholics also have the option of downloading the App's full version called "ParishWorld for Catholics". And SECOND, for all Catholic Parishes, the Basic Parish Service described above is offered FREE - no charge. But note that we also offer an optional and more powerful Premium Parish Service.
Can this Mobile App be Customized for our Parish?
Definitely. For a very reasonable service fee, we can upgrade your BASIC PARISH SERVICE to our PREMIUM PARISH SERVICE. We will re-brand your Mobile App to reflect your Parish identity with logos, pictures, etc. You also get a Content Management System that allows you to add your own Parish articles, events, pictures, calendars, audio, video files, Sunday bulletins, social media presence & much more. When this Parish content is combined with the endless stream of interesting content we provide, your Parish ends up with the most effective and dynamic Mobile presence available anywhere.
Can this Parish Mobile App synchronize with our Parish Website?
Yes. We can design a new and more powerful Parish Website for your Parish. Enter your Parish articles in our proprietary Content Management System and it will will deliver these articles to BOTH your Parish Mobile App and to your new Parish Website. Your Parish achieves total and complete Mobile and Website presence. And it successfully takes advantage of all the Evangelization, and Communication and Stewardship opportunities offered by today's new and emerging Technology.
What abour Online Donations?
Portability is one of the major benefits offered by Mobile Phones. And using this Mobile App, Parish members can conveniently and instantly make Online Donations to you straight from their Mobile phones. Even while sitting in the pews! Just imagine how this feature alone can enhance the dynamics of your Parish Stewardship Programs.
Why are there Lifestyle and News stories in the App?
For good reasons. We wish to remind you that God walks with us every minute of the day. And not just on Sundays and during our brief prayer times. Our goal is to insert the Catholic influence into everyone's daily activities. And we achieve this by allowing a non-stop stream of beautiful Faith stories to blend nicely with many other feeds from curated channels that cover a wide range of secular Lifestyle interests and News stories.
What if our Parish does not wish to have all of these extra content on our Mobile App?
Then we simply turn off the custom branding we have included for your Parish. The Mobile App reverts to its original form as a Catholic Mobile App exclusively. You then simply use the poweful Parish Website we created for you to achieve both your Mobile and Progressive Web presence.
What is a "Responsive" Website?
The Parish Website we provide is a "Responsive" Website. This means it is programmed to identify the kind of specific device reading it and it adjusts content displays accordingly. In other words, your website can be viewed correctly on all devices -- On Mobile phones, on Tablet devices and on Desktop computers. If your current website is unable to do that, then you are losing out on the largest and more dynamic Mobile audience.
What is the ParishWorld theological editorial policy?
ParishWorld.net is not "conservative." ParishWorld is not "liberal." ParishWorld is orthodox Roman Catholic. Pastors can comfortably refer their parishioners for articles that provide information and views that foster a better understanding of the Roman Catholic faith and the Christian lifestyle. These articles will be true to the Scripture, true to Traditions and true to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
What do we seek to create?
We are not a polemic (argumentative) online site. We seek to create a place where people of all creeds can meet God and talk about their Faith in Him according to their own conscience. It is our intent that this dialogue take place in mutual respect and in a prayerful willingness to seek understanding of one another in a Catholic space. We strive to remind everyone that the ultimate test of your religion is really the test of love or hate. Orthodoxy means nothing without Orthopraxy -- the practice of love. Both are essential.
But why encourage an ecumenical open forum?
It is a blessing that we - Catholics and non-Catholics alike - can all get together around Christ's campfire and exchange Faith convictions. It is a blessing that we do this in a respectful and religious tone. This is a kind of ecumenism that is within the reach of all Christians. It does not reach out to question or impugn anyone's denominational identity. We look at it as simple spiritual Communion which is born out of our common belief in The Father, Son and Holy Spirit; Creator, Savior and Sanctifier.
When can we start using this Mobile App for our Parish?
Start today. Tell your Parish members to download the ParishWorld FREE App available in both the iPhone App Store and in the Google Market Place. It already comes pre-loaded with your Mass Times, address info, etc. You do not have to do anything else.
How can Parishes promote the App to their congregation?
We have prepared promotional materials you can use to create awareness for your Parish Mobile App. These include display ads you can run in your Parish bulletin. Plus some suggested pulpit announcements. They can be downloaded from this link. Please feel free to use and edit them for your purposes.
What if our Parish wanted more than the Basic App Service?
Simply upgrade your Basic Parish Service to our Premium Parish Service. You will receive a fully activated Content Management System. Add your own articles, create your own sections, add forms, photos and videos, build parish calendars and add events, post your parish bulletins, and much more. Even offer your congregation the ability to make donations and tithes online -- right from their Mobile phones.
How can Parishes upgrade to this Premium App Service?
Call us at (818) 446-6793. Or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will provide all the information you need. There are nominal fees associated with the premium service. But they are very affordable. And your Parish can easily get started today.
How can our Parish members help Evangelize the world?
"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." Luke 28: 19-20. This is our mandate. When your Parish members find stories they enjoy in your Parish Mobile App, encourage them to share it forward by email or social media using your App's Share functions. That's how we change the world -- one Catholic article at a time.