SHIJIAZHUANG, CHINA – What is believed to be the first electronic Catholic calendar in mainland China became available to the public recently, tapping into the growing use of smartphones and the Internet.

Incorporating the Gregorian and Chinese lunar calendars with the Church’s Ordo (the calendar that prescribes daily Mass), the calendar also includes the breviary to make daily prayers more convenient for laity’s spiritual lives.

The “Perpetual Calendar of the Church [beta]” can be accessed via the website of Faith Press, a major Catholic publisher in northern China.

The programme underwent nearly two months’ testing before launching. In just two days, the Shijiazhuang-based Faith Press has received a number of feedback giving “suggestions about the layout and contents, such as adding daily scripture readings,” said Mr John Guo, who heads Faith Press’s research and development team.

Faith Press also plans to develop an online initiative that will allow people to search parish Mass times, contact information and bus routes in cities across China.

The calendar can be accessed at http://www.xinde.org/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=lists&catid=70 and http://www.xinde.org/wnl - CNS

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