The mission of the Redemptorist Order is ‘to preach the Gospel ever anew’. The Redemptorists in Melbourne have taken the idea of spreading the Gospel message into a new age, creating a smartphone app and forming an online prayer community.
The Bread4Today app is the brainchild of the Redemptorists’ Matthew Howard, the Order’s Melbourne-based communications officer, and Fr Edmond Nixon CSsR.
Howard said Bread4Today brought the Church to the world, rather than waiting for the world to come to church. "Everybody is on their smartphones, so it’s a place to reach them. Jesus reached people where they were, when he was in markets preaching. He wasn’t there to buy bread and fish.
"As Catholics, let’s go out and reach people where they are at their journey, not assume where they could be. That’s a big part of Bread4Today—to accompany."
Bread4Today aims to be more than just a meditation and prayer aid. Matthew explained that, as well as offering spiritual solace, it also challenges people to effect change in their lives. "If today’s meditation is something on the environment or forgiveness, how are you going to use that today to make a change? Even if someone reflects on one small thing a day, it’s a multiplier.
Someone being able to be more compassionate in one little area in their life really should have a ripple effect in the community."
The app itself is free and simple to use. It has a daily meditation, or you can browse categories if there is an area that you particularly wish to focus on, such as relationships, courage, hard times and forgiveness. The prayers often include video links and audio links.