Catholic Trivia: A new Android app from the Friars in Australia

Catholic Trivia

In 2013 five students friars decided to develop a mobile application that would for spreading the Catholic faith.  Among the five students was, the now, Fr Matthew Boland OP, then an unordained former publican and hotel manager who also happened to have graduated from a free online course in computer science from HarvardX.

Fr Matthew, 40, said the friars where looking for Catholic apps on Android but the choice were limited.  The group decided to develop an application using Fr Matthew’s knowledge of mobile applications and their own strength - knowledge of the faith. That advantage led to Catholic Trivia, a free gaming app designed to test a player’s knowledge of the Catholic Church.

In Catholic Trivia, gamers can answer up to 1250 questions on six categories – Art and Literature, Biblical knowledge, History, Liturgy and Customs, Saints and Personalities, and Theology – across five levels of increasing difficulty. The large database of questions offers ample replay ability, meaning no two versions of play will be the same.

“The idea was in the first levels, any Catholic or even non-Catholic, would be able to answer the questions, but as you go up it gets harder,” Fr Matthew said. “The first level is Novice, but I’m not allowed to tell you the last two levels.” There won’t even be penalties if players use Google to answer questions. “We’re totally fine with it,” Fr Matthew said.  “If people are Googling for the answers, that’s probably a good thing. “If there’s a question about a Pope and they want to research into it, go for it. “We’re not strict about the structures of the game; want people to enjoy it and learn about the faith.”

Speaking after the launch of Catholic Trivia, Fr Matthew was surprised to find the app had already been downloaded over 100 times around the world and given positive ratings. The positive feedback is an encouraging sign for a group of five Dominicans, who spent every free Saturday between studying for the priesthood and praying, creating a game for Catholics.  All but one are now ordained for the Order.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP DD, also a Dominican Friar, gave the permission to use the name Catholic in the app.

All their efforts and 100-plus downloads later, the Australia Dominican Friars have their first app.

Find the game at the Google Play store or search the store for ‘Catholic Trivia’.

(This is an edited version of a story that first appeared in The Catholic Leader, from Brisbane Archdiocese on 16 October 2016)


(02 November 2016)