These days technology plays a part in just about every part of our lives, from how we work to how we interact with our families and friends. And now, thanks to a new app created by the Catholic Church, it may even help bring us closer to God.

The Catholic App, developed by a firm in Edinburgh, utilises GPS technology to guide smartphone and tablet users to their nearest mass and confession. According to the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, which came up the idea, it will not only encourage engagement with the mobile generation but act like “a companion and a friend that takes the initiative to inspire you”.

The Church clearly believes the app has a bright future – it was launched by Archbishop Leo Cushley, no less, at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. And, of course, it’s not the first time the Church has chosen to engage with the digital world – Pope Francis has gathered more than 10m followers since joining Twitter in 2012, and earlier this year he opened an account on photo-sharing network Instagram.

Catholicism is not the only denomination to utilise the digital world – the Church of Scotland also has a busy Twitter feed and a growing presence on Facebook, where it shares news, pictures and videos, and encourages people to debate with others.

We hear much in the news about how vapid social media is, how it causes hurt and anguish, especially to the young. And there are no doubt many who would sneer at such moves by our churches.

But if they help the younger generation connect with the more spiritual side of life then perhaps these initiatives have an important role to play in helping bring back the “social” side of networking. It is, after all, young people who are increasingly lonely and isolated in the modern world, and struggle with mental health issues.

Technology, then, is undoubtedly part of the problem; but it is also part of the solution.