A priest in Madison, Wisc. had developed an app that will let his parishioners know when and where he is available to listen to their sins.
Father Richard Heilman's My Confessor App is currently only available for iPhone and Android users in his parish but with the number of Catholic priests in America rapidly declining, Heilman sees the app going national.
Heilman, who has spent 25 years in the ministry, believes Catholics could use more time with a priest and recommends the sacrament of confession at least once a month.
“Maybe more often if you’re dealing with repetitive sin,” he told the NY Daily News. “A lot of us aren’t in a state of grace and confessions help that grace flow freely.”
Heilman, who is in charge of three Madison-area parishes and has five Masses to recite every weekend, is one busy priest.
“It’s challenging sometimes for priests to find time for confession because they have work to do,” Heilman said. “And parishioners are trying to go easy on Father because they see us trying to handle multiple things.”
The My Confessor App has a special log that enables priests to update their statuses and post messages, according to app developer Mary Hoerr.
A red status box means “Father is OUT.” A green status box means “Father is IN.” The app also has a section explaining the sacrament of confession and a section where users can read priests’ bios.
Heilman, who's been paying all the development costs out of his own pocket, envisions the app going national with a Google map that points out where the nearest priest is.
“I want people to not feel uncomfortable asking about confession,” Heilman said. “We want everybody ignited in the holy spirit.”
The app will be available to both iPhone and Android users later this month. You can check myconfessor.org for updates.
The makers of the app are also accepting donations to help improve the app.
Donations can be sent to the men's apostolate founded by Heilman, The Knights of Divine Mercy.