Warm welcome for new Sacred Space apps
Sacred Space, the online prayer website of the Irish Jesuit Province, has just launched two new apps this May, 2021. According to John McDermott, the Director of Sacred Space, these apps are the first step in what has been a year-long redevelopment of the technology behind the prayer website. They run on the new content management system that will soon power the website.
A new modern interface is now used by the apps that keeps the style of the parent website sacredspace.ie, says John. “The outgoing apps required a major rebuild for security and other technical reasons,” he remarks, “and it simply was not possible to leave the apps the way they were. What seemed like bad news was, in fact, an opportunity to rebuild the apps with many new features and use a platform that allows the apps to be continually be updated with new features as they are added to the website.”
One such benefit was access to content previously not available to people who prayed with the app. The highly popular ‘Growing Back Better’ Lent retreat by Margaret Silf is now available on the app, and all future retreats and novenas will be made available on the app as well.
The Pope’s intentions are also included each month, and the Sacred Space team will add more content to the app as it becomes available on the website.
The rebuild was also an opportunity to take the daily Gospel inspiration points and move them to their own prayer stage, according to John. “After people read the daily Gospel, now the next step in prayer is to reflect on the Gospel with the aid of the inspiration points that were previously hidden away in the menu.”
While change can be hard with some users of the old app referring to it as cosy and lamenting its replacement in their life, others greeted the new app with kind remarks:
“I love the newly updated app for Sacred Space, it is very user-friendly it’s new layout is conducive to taking in the day’s reading coupled with the inspirational look at that reading ah sure it’s a wonderful job well done.”
“Thank you for the app. I use it often and find it helps me start the day off right. The new look is great.”
“Love the new format. Well done!”
John says that these new apps allow for future updates that would simply not have been possible before. Some of the potential future updates are multiple languages, providing the app to any of the 18 languages that the website is currently translated into. “We may also be able to deliver an audio descript for the visually impaired and a daily inspirational image that can be shared with family and friends like we already have on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest”.