OAKLAND, CA – The Western Dominican Province, a province of the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans), announced today the release of a new mobile and TV app – their first – to help Catholics and non-Catholics discover the truths of life, the world and the Catholic faith.
Called OPWest (short for Order of Preachers in the West), the app is completely free and available in the Apple, Roku, Amazon and Google app stores. It’s also available as a TV app.
Said the Very Rev. Christopher Fadok, O.P., Prior Provincial of the Western Province, “For 800 years, Dominicans have been dedicated to proclaiming Christ to the world and defending truth. We started by preaching from village to village across Europe, and now we’re doing it across the internet – the fertile new preaching grounds of the 21st century.”
Fr. Fadok continued, saying, “People are desperate for meaning and authenticity in life. This free app is an engaging way for us to help people find that meaning – to find Christ – and to address the spiritual and intellectual poverties of our time.”
Packed with short-form videos addressing some of the hardest questions in society, family life, the Church, philosophy and theology, the new app is a tool for parents, students, parish leaders, priests – everyone – to strengthen their understanding of the faith and share it.
“If you’ve ever been stuck trying to answer a friend’s question, such as, ‘Why are you Catholic?’, or ‘What’s the deal with Halloween?’, or ‘Is divorce ok?’, and wished you had help answering it? Well, now you do. Just open the app and send them a short video,” said Fr. Brad Elliott, O.P., one of the leaders of the project.
He added, “Simply put, this is a game-changer in the way we’re able to support people in seeking truth and learning the faith.”
Casey O’Leary, Digital Media Director for the Western Dominicans, has been spearheading the development of the app.
“Like a lot of people, I’ve struggled at times to articulate what I believe and why. And now with this app, I have the 800-year wisdom of the Dominican Order in my pocket to help me,” O’Leary explained.
He added, “Learning through short videos is an incredibly popular, easy and compelling way to consume content. Not only that, but with the app, I can instantly share what I learn with anyone, anywhere, anytime. We really want to empower people to engage their family, friends and co-workers.”
What’s more, the app isn’t just for viewing, listening and sharing media produced by the Dominicans, but also a way for people to learn about the friars, explore a vocation, discover events, watch inspiring vignettes and be notified of breaking news or updates.
And the friars have plans to add even more features and content.
“We don’t want this to just be another app that gets stale and languishes,” said O’Leary, “We’re going to be constantly adding new videos, starting podcasts, updates on current issues and fun things to share. It’s really going to be a fruitful resource for people. And all of it is going to come from a religious order people know and trust: the Dominicans.”
Fr. Elliott noted the app will be something people can engage regularly, making seemingly dead time more fruitful. “We know people are busy. But if you’ve got a commute for work, or you’re stuck doing a big load of dishes, don’t let that time go to waste. Open this app and start listening or watching something that makes your life more meaningful. You’ll love it.”
“It’s an exciting opportunity. And we’re just getting started,” added O’Leary.
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Background: The Order of Preachers – the Dominicans – is a worldwide religious order of the Catholic Church dedicated to preaching the Gospel for the salvation of souls.
Founded in 1850, the Dominican Friars of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Western Dominican Province) serve throughout the Western U.S. in a variety of apostolates, including campus and parish ministries, schools, seminaries, media, international missions, and the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology in Berkeley, CA.