Preparations are underway in diocese around the world, preparing young people for their meeting with the Pope. In the backpack that each young person who has registered for WYD will receive, there will also be YouCat, the aid to the Catechism of the Catholic Church made especially for youth with its question and answer format. Just recently Città Nuova Ppublishing House, which edited the Italian edition of YouCat, has released an application that can be downloaded to the latest mobile phones. It is an “app”, that is, an “application” called YouCat, which enables teens to discuss the issues contained in the Catechism and the WYD. What is it exactly? Debora Donnini asks Giulio Meazzini who works for Città Nuova and dealt with the application of YouCat for mobile phones:
“Città Nuova decided it wanted to give a gift to the youths who will go to Madrid by offering them, gratis, the chance to download this app to phones that have the Apple operating system, Windows Mobile or Android; that is, the vast majority of the latest mobile phones. The functions that are available include a social network like Facebook with a “wall”, a wall for messages where you can share comments, create your own profile, exchange messages and text messages between users as well as create a list of friends, also “famous friends”. We, for example, put in Maritain, Blessed John Paul II, St Francis, Cardinal Van Thuan etc. So every couple of days, via this application, you can receive quotations from these well-known people. In addition, specifically with regard to WYD, through this app, you have the opportunity to receive news updates directly to your phone in different languages regarding the World Youth Day, a daily update on all the events that happen during WYD and also the possibility join a kind of “community” of those participating in the WYD, with information and comments …”.
This responds to what Benedict XVI himself wrote in the premise to YouCat. In fact, the Pope invited youths not only to study the catechism, but also to read it among friends and to form study groups and networks. So was this meant to be your answer to this invitation from the Pope?
This is precisely what we were thinking. In fact the other feature that’s available with this app, the most important perhaps, is the ability to have available on the phone, twenty per cent of the questions and answers from YouCat. It’s a way of making the message immediately available.
The intent is to enable young people to discuss the content of the catechism through the phone. . .
“Exactly. Just as they are accustomed to talk and share information on social networks, in this way they’ll be able to share impressions, questions – also the questions and answers and topics in YouCat. A site will soon be opening on internet – www.cittanuova.it – where more information will be provided about WYD and YouCat. I also don’t want to forget to mention the international site that all the European editors are putting up in different languages, regarding YouCat. I would add that other editors have asked us to publish questions and answers not only in Italian but also in other languages, and so there will probably soon be English and French.”