by Sydney Olinger ’23
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide quarantine, people have been staying connected virtually through Zoom calls, social media, and many other virtual platforms. For many of the members of the Providence College community, it has been important to maintain those social relationships not only with our peers, but also with God and the Church.
To help students and faculty remain connected with their faith and more specifically, faith at PC, Campus Ministry released a new app called Providence College TORCH. The app has everything from live-streamed masses to an E-book version of the Bible.
With the app, students and faculty have access to prayers, articles, and uplifting talks with Friars and PC students. TORCH has many ways to keep users connected to their faith, but it also has resources to maintain stable mental health, which is absolutely vital in these times.
On the home screen of TORCH, there are five different tabs: Torch, Breathe, Power Up, Radiate, and Connect. Each one contains information on different topics, whether that be virtual events happening in campus ministry, reflections on Sunday’s gospel, or how to be a good citizen of God in the Providence College community and world.
The Power Up tab has the livestream, information on Peer Ministry, prayers to say on your own or with others in a socially distanced manner, analysis of the gospels, RCIA, and Godsplaining. Church Chat, a section within the RCIA category, is labelled within the app as “An RCIA Talk Show of Sorts”, so if students are not Catholic but still interested in learning more about the faith, this would be the best place to go. Godsplaining is a great place for both lifelong, newly joined, or not-yet-baptized Catholics to delve deep into the readings and mystery of the Catholic faith and learn how it relates to the present day. For students looking for something a little more meditative, the Breathe tab has many articles on how to stay mentally healthy especially during a time when we may feel isolated from the world.
“One of the most threatening things we are facing presently is isolation. In college, it’s natural for people to find themselves at home in this or that group on campus. Campus Ministry, however, has its goal outreach to every PC student. We want every Friar to know that we’re here to support them and offer resources,” stated Father Patrick Briscoe.
Fr. Patrick explains that TORCH users do not need to be a part of Campus Ministry or even to be Catholic to take advantage of all the app has to offer. TORCH will hopefully inspire all members of the PC community to engage with Campus Ministry.
One important part of the app is how it was named. Fr. Patrick elaborates on this, saying, “The name evokes the commitment to enlightenment at the heart of the College’s mission. Fire brings warmth and light in dark, in difficult times. We hope TORCH brings comfort and peace in a time marked by anxiety and suffering.”
Though the app will certainly be beneficial to staying connected to our faith and people both within and outside the PC community during this difficult time, it will continue to be an excellent platform for Campus Ministry and for others to stay involved in the Church.