St. Joseph Catholic Church is making a new venture into the tech age.
St. Joseph, which has 775 families, released a church app this week that not only allows parishioners to seek online news but to make their tithes online.
WeShare allows parishioners to schedule reoccurring tithes or a one-time donation from their bank accounts or credit cards. Parishioners can also donate to special missions or projects such as the food pantry or the rectory renovation project.
Parishioners can also access WeShare at https://stj-church.weshareonline.org/.
The app was built by Liturgical Publications Incorporated and is a new trend in religious life.
Millennials as well as older adults are connecting more through smartphones, and the app gives parishioners another way to connect to the church, Kevin Rupp, St. Joseph administrative assistant, said.
One of the first things that drew the church to the app was its ability to offer daily readings and connect liturgical ministers on mobile. The app allows liturgists to look up their readings for mass and find subs if they need them.
It also includes pictures of staff, mass times, contact information and the parish’s bulletin.
Rupp said the app will allow the parish to get news to its parishioners faster.
Now the bulletin has to be sent out of for publishing and is available to the parish on Sundays. With the new app, news can be published on the parish’s website or app immediately.
The app has a prayer request button that will send out requests to all of the parish’s prayer warriors.
The church will continue to have its regular printed bulletin, and Rupp said he doubted online giving will make the collection plate obsolete.
Although the apps the company St. Joseph has been working with have been for Catholic churches, Rupp said he thought other congregations would likely move to their own apps as well.
The app is so new the church has not received much feedback yet, but the little it has received has been positive, Rupp said.
The new app can be downloaded for free. For iPhones, text stjoehays01 to 555888. For Android, text stjoehays02 to 555888.