Confession Apps help with every step towards Mercy

Almost half of Catholics in America never go to Confession (Confession by Patrick Carey). Are you apprehensive about going to confession? Don’t be. Confession apps are ready to help make your experience in the confessional box less awkward and more transformative. It really is a most transformative and grace-filled adventure to go through the process of a good confession and enjoy the rich mercy promised by Our Lord. Our recommended confession apps are designed to help you every step of the way.

Because the sacrament requires a good effort at an examination of conscience, the apps we selected for your consideration offer a variety of creative means of exploring yourself, your relationship with God and the various ways we rupture that from time to time. First, a word of caution:

Apps of this nature are NOT meant to be a substitute for sacramental confession with a priest. These apps are designed to prepare you to make a good confession with a priest. 

Not convinced about the importance of this sacrament? Have questions about it? Forgot how to go to confession? Check out the list of resources linked at the bottom of this post. Finally, yes, you can bring your mobile device into the confessional if it will help you to make a good confession. Go for it.

Confession ($1.99) | Android | Apple

A systematic aid to assist you in making a good confession, Confession is one of the top Catholic apps downloaded on iTunes and has even received a U.S. Bishop’s approval. This app walks you through the sacrament with a fairly detailed examination of conscience based on your state in life (clergy, single, married). Tap a number next to each sin listed. From this selection process, a script (for lack of a better description) is offered which you may take into the confessional to read from–easy to do as your device is backlit. Everything in your script is in order, so you are assured that nothing important is missing and you don’t have to worry about memorizing prayers. Once you scroll through the script, all your listed sins are automatically wiped away (just as they are on your soul through this sacrament!) As an added assurance, the app is password protected to help maintain your privacy. It is regrettable that the listed sins are not categorized as “mortal” or “venial,” giving the impression that littering and murder are of equal gravity. It is presumed you know, and certainly your confessor will know.

This app has gone through a number of tweaks to make it as useful and helpful and sacramentally correct as can be with lots of good input from the time when it was first developed several years ago. There are other confession apps out there, but this one has been put through tremendous testing and overview with indications from developers (see comments at the end of this review) of the sincerity with which they undertake the auspicious nature of the task. It is appreciated that they have gone to great measures (obtaining bishop approval, being open to informed input, and utilizing qualified sacramental instructors) to ensure you have all you need to prepare for a good confession. The fact that it is pretty user-friendly is a bonus. THIS app is a great example of apostolic work in the digital world.

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The Confession App  Android ($.99)| Apple ($1.99)

Interactive features of this app help engage you in the process of making a good confession from examination of conscience to absolution. If you are new to the sacrament or have forgotten how to make a good confession, this app provides gentle and encouraging help every step of the way. It is designed to make the process easy for you by providing a comprehensive examination of conscience with large check boxes for items you wish to confess. Your choices (and any text you type in) get distilled into a separate Confession Guide for you to take into the confessional to walk you through everything you need to say including your Act of Contrition. Large font makes it easy to read in the low light setting.

Feel secure knowing no data is stored to the phone hard drive or to the internet. The really cool part? After confession, you get the satisfaction of being able to hit the “Erase My Sins” button and watch your check marked sins removed from the temporary cache in the phone or tablet–a technological symbol of what just happened to your soul! Users seem to enjoy that particular feature of this app. Catechism and scripture references are included. Here’s a video of the many features contained in this app.

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Laudate (Free) | Android | Apple | Kindle Fire

If you’ve already downloaded Laudate app, you have a Confession app built in. Laudate is all-in-one app that contains dozens of features too numerous to list for our purposes in this post. We focus on its Confession App contained in the list of resources. Here we see offered an examination of conscience and preparation for confession which includes a daily examination of conscience and “Examen” podcasts from Pray-As-You-Go. Steps walk you through the process of making a good confession complete with recommended prayers. Available in English, Español, Português, Italiano, Bahasa and Polski.

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My Parish App (Free)   Apple | Android

This app resides on the home screen of my phone because of all the many useful resources it offers like the confession guide. Simply download the app, open it and select any parish in the listing (if your parish does not participate in this app). Select the Confession icon on the home screen (broken chain link graphic).  This Confession app within the My Parish App acts as a perfect refresher for you —offering a comprehensive examination of conscience in addition to the “how to” guide walking you through the steps of your confession and the text to the Act of Contrition you will say at the end of your confession. The app integrates an option to remind you to go to confession each time you access My Parish App.  As an added bonus, you get all the many other resources on this app including a decent Mass finder when you travel, Catholic prayers, audio Bible, audio Rosary, Bishop Barron videos, and much more. I use this app to keep in touch with my parish and visa versa.

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ConfesGuide
(Free) Apple is an app version of a popular in-depth booklet by Fr. James Socias that’s prepared a whole lot of Catholics for Confession for many years. Here you get clear instructions in not only WHAT to do before, during and after Confession, but WHY (with Scripture and Church teachings). Take your time with this app during quiet moments you carve out for just you and your soul. It’s designed for that.  Reflect on God’s grace in action and your resolution to avoid sin and live a new life. We like how this guide answers common questions and concerns gently and patiently. Unfortunately, the Examination of Conscience is not as thorough as you’ll find in other apps. Again, this app is a more of a guide to get your mind wrapped around what this Sacrament is supposed to be for you as Jesus meant it. And for your little ones, this app also offers an Examination of Conscience for Children. You’ll like how it can remember the date of your last Confession for you (you’ll always need to know that). 

confesguideapp-screenshotThe most difficult part for most people going to Confession is the actual “confessing,” if you will. Here the app offers some simple points to remember: concise, concrete, clear and complete. You’ll get the gist as you read about these characters of a good confession. You’ll be reminded to just ask the priest if you have difficulty expressing some stuff. It’s okay. 

The entire Rite of Reconciliation is provided. Most apps don’t offer this. It’s the step-by-step walk-through of the Sacrament with all the words the priest will say and what you will say as part of the Rite. YES bring this app into the confessional if you need it. That’s okay too (and you’ll appreciate it being backlit on your device). 

The developer of this app is one of our favorites–St. Clement ePress. They’ve been producing some of the more beautiful Catholic apps in the marketplace! Do wander over to their site to browse their many other offerings which we highlight throughout our catalogue of recommended apps. 

We offer one of the quotes in this app to open your heart to this amazing sacrament:

“To those who have been far away from the sacrament of Reconciliation and forgiving love, I make this appeal; come back to this source of grace; do not be afraid! Christ is waiting for you. He will heal you, and you will be at peace with God.”

–Saint John Paul II


Bishop Robert Barron comments on the use of Confession apps

Video on how to go to Confession 

Making a Good Confession – detailed instruction

Fr. Z’s Tips for Making a Good Confession – practical advice

Fr. Z offers an objective overview of confession apps in general

Why do I have to confess to a priest? (Fr. Barron answers in this video)

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Categories: Blog for Catholic Apptitude

Author:Jennifer Kane

Content Evangelist, Jennifer Kane, is a secular Carmelite (OCDS), wife, mother, grandmother who worked for more than 30 years in marketing/communications holding degrees in Journalism/Communication (BA) and English (MA) from St. Bonaventure University. She authored the Vatican application for minor basilica status in 2016 for The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Olean, New York from which stemmed her history book of the basilica, A Place Set Apart. She previously authored the book, A Worthy and Capable Clergyman, the second part of this book in a slightly different format. She is founder and editor of the website, CatholicAPPtitude.org, the #1 English language website cataloging/reviewing Catholic apps for mobile devices.

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