Catholic Mobile cell service links faith, phones
By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
DENVER, Colo., Jul. 19, 2006, (www.rockymountainnews.com) - Catholic cell phone users can now let 'em ring to the tones of the Ave Maria and track the latest movements of the pope, thanks to the world's first Catholic mobile phone service, which launched last week.
Catholic Mobile, which has its U.S. headquarters in Denver, has linked all cell phone providers into its network, which makes the service universally accessible, said Alejandro Bermudez, based at the company's home office in Lima, Peru.
"This has been on the Catholic imagination for a long time," Bermudez said. "Until now, the problem was to make the technology work seamlessly with all the major carriers."
By sending a text message, users can access a menu of heavenly options: a biography of the saint of the day, a daily prayer, and a summary of the Bible reading used in Catholic Masses for that day. Each service costs $4.99 per month.
Details are at www.catholicmobile.com.
The cell phone also can be decked out, with more than 100 choices of Catholic wallpaper, from popes to images of Mary, for $1.99 each, and programmed with a variety of classic ring tones.
At 49 cents per download, users can also access international breaking news provided by the Catholic News Agency, the Peru-based newsgathering service which is the provider for Catholic Mobile.
The online version of the Archdiocese of Denver Newsletter has a story about the launch of Catholic Mobile on its front page, and Bermudez has use of an office in the Denver Archdiocese when he's in town.
In a news release, Catholic Mobile is described as a partnership between Denver-based JP2 Media and the Missionaries of Faith Foundation, headquartered in San Diego.