Smartphone app helps keep track on New Year resolutions

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Bishop Alvaro del Portillo inspired the establishment of several social development projects in the Philippines.

MANILA, Jan. 5, 2014—Finding it hard to keep your New Year resolutions? A new smartphone application might just be the answer to your dilemma. 

Two young Filipino professionals have developed a smartphone app called Alvaro Daily designed not only to help monitor resolutions every day of the year but also reminds the person to seek help and inspiration from friends in Heaven. 

Arnil Paras, a graduate of the London School of Economics, and Ace Bonita, a graduate of the University of Asia & the Pacific, developed a smartphone application or “app” called Alvaro Daily (http://bit.ly/1ewtlw8). 

The two yuppies, together with other young professional men attend formation activities organized by Amber University Center in Ortigas Center, under the spiritual direction of the Prelature of Opus Dei. 

Both Paras and Bonita are devotees of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo who succeeded St. Josemaria Escriva as head of Opus Dei, and taught many ordinary Christians a way of sanctification through daily work and the faithful fulfilment of their daily duties. 

On July 5, 2013, Pope Francis signed the decree recognizing a miracle attributed to the intercession of Alvaro del Portillo, which opened the way to his beatification. 

The miracle is the instantaneous healing of newborn baby from Chile who suffered cardiac arrest a few days after his birth in August 2003. Through the intercession of Alvaro del Portillo and without any additional treatment, the heart of the new born baby started to beat again. Ten years later, despite the seriousness of his medical situation, the boy leads a normal life. 

Close to 12,000 signed accounts of favors, some of which refer to family life, have been received through the intercession of Alvaro del Portillo. 

App’s other interesting features 

Aside from helping monitor resolutions every day, the Alvaro Daily app also provide other interesting features such as details about the miracle attributed to him which opened the way for his beatification; information about Saxum, a Conference Center in Jerusalem inspired by Alvaro del Portillo; daily quotes from his preaching and writings; a quick access to his Prayer Card for private devotion to ask for his intercession; and writings on the life and teachings of Alvaro del Portillo. 

Considering that the human person is not only physical but also a spiritual being, Fr. Henry Bocala, best-selling author of award-winning books “Arise & Walk” and “Mending a Broken Society”, gives a very important reason for our failure to keep resolutions. 

Fr. Bocala said “You will find out that when you make resolutions but do not pray to God, ask the intercession of the Saints, or seek other people’s support, you have set yourself up to fail before you even have begun.” 

“Failure to live up to good resolutions comes from the fact that you are trying to accomplish them by means of your own strength alone”, the spiritual author added. 

App supports worthy causes, too 

During his years as head of Opus Dei, Portillo promoted many social and educational projects all over the world, for the benefit of the very needy. 

Aside from helping in personal development, the Alvaro Daily app will also enable the person to contribute to worthy causes. 

A significant portion of proceeds from the Alvaro Daily app will contribute to the construction of Saxum, an International Conference Center and a Multimedia Resource Center for pilgrims in the Holy Land while other proceeds will be donated for the rehabilitation of Tuburan Study Center of St. Vincent Ferrer Parochial School in Iloilo, which was destroyed by super-typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). 

In this Year of the Laity, the initiative of Paras and Bonita shows us that the professional work of lay people, when done for love of God, can contribute positively to the New Evangelization especially in this “high-tech” and social-media driven age. 

Paras currently teaches in the University of Asia & the Pacific’s School of Law and Governance and has written analyses and commentaries on Philippine Politics in Philippine dailies. Bonita works in an IT firm in Ortigas Center. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

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