The National Catechetical Study group of the Research Center for Social Sciences and Education, in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines in partnership with the Digital Evangelization Network PH (DevNet), recently piloted the use of the “God’s Park” mobile app, a child-friendly catechesis app developed by Ichthys Digital Initiatives LLC, for young Catholics preparing to receive their first Holy Communication.
The app, which is downloadable on both the App Store and Google Play Store, had its pilot run in the Dioceses of Balanga, Cabanatuan, Cubao, Daet, Dumaguete, Novaliches, and Archdiocese of Davao. It aimed to fill the gap in catechetical instruction caused by movement and gathering restrictions as a result of the pandemic.
With focus on preparing for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the app rollout, which was sponsored by the said dioceses, recruited children who are not enrolled in schools but are preparing to receive their first Holy Communion. A catechist was designated to guide the students, who after using the app meet the catechist virtually to understand better what the app presented.
The National Catechetical Study has been a project of the UST-RCSSEd, with its lead researcher Professor Clarence M. Batan, PhD, for several years now. It is conducted in partnership with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education.