‘CatholicNetworker’ App Bridges Faith and Professional Connections Worldwide

20-something content creator forging friendships in faith.

Gabriel St-Charles at work bringing a global Catholic community together online through his new application.
Gabriel St-Charles at work bringing a global Catholic community together online through his new application. (photo: Courtesy photo / Gabriel St-Charles)

Living in Singapore, Gabriel St-Charles, 24, said he never thought he’d meet famous Catholic content creators in America. Now a content creator himself on Instagram and YouTube, St-Charles created an app to connect Catholics all over the world. Launched in February, CatholicNetworker is a platform for Catholics to find believers who share similar occupations, interests and hobbies.  

“All of us have professional lives, and there’s so much potential for projects — things like the app ‘Hallow’ or the TV series The Chosen — and if we could just connect Catholics with the right talent and resources, a lot could come from it,” said St-Charles, known on Instagram as @thecatacombdiaries.  

Users create profiles with their photo, city, job title, profession, industry, stage of life, interests — faith-related or otherwise — and a short bio with a description of their professional and faith life. 

The app allows users to choose from lists of devotions and hobbies as well as Catholic and conservative podcasts, organizations and online personalities to bond over with other users.  

“You create a profile and put everything people should know about you, so people can tell ‘I’ll vibe with this guy. He likes Father Mike Schmitz? I like Father Mike Schmitz too!’”  

CatholicNetworker users can view other profiles and make connections by “swiping right” to send connection requests. Anyone on the app can also send direct messages through it.  

“It may look like a dating app, feel like a dating app, and even work like a dating app. But it is not a dating app,” according to the CatholicNetworker’s website. “This app allows you to connect with like-minded individuals, with the simple intention of Catholic fellowship. Where it leads after, who knows?” 

St-Charles has been working on the project since the summer of 2023 to help Catholics make not only professional connections, but also friendships — based on shared interests and experiences. 

“Social isolation is a big issue young Catholics face, especially faithful Catholics,” he said. “Many people are born into Catholicism, but a lot of them don’t care or practice, so it can be hard to find someone on the same wavelength. But even if you’ve already got Catholic friends, who doesn’t want more Catholic friends?” 

St-Charles said the app is also for Catholics who may feel alone in their beliefs and desire a community with which they can share values. 

“Just being Catholic, I share so much more in common with Catholics across the world than I share with some guy I meet on the street here in Singapore, even if he has the same upbringing as me,” he said. 

Before he entered the Catholic social-media world, St-Charles grew interested in American politics and its impact on culture around the world and in his home country, Singapore. 

St-Charles became involved in the American conservative movement in 2016, while political tensions and social issues were at the forefront of social media. A cradle Catholic, he said he felt alone among his friends in his passion for the Church’s teachings on issues like abortion and marriage.  

“I clung to my faith,” he said. “The Church was my escape from the crazy life when all my friends were busy ‘finding themselves.’” 

St-Charles came to America and made connections within the conservative movement, often facing challenges to his faith from evangelical Christians.  

“I had to dig into why and what I believe, which made my faith even more unshakeable,” he said. “I’m never going to understand everything about Catholicism, but I do understand why the alternatives don’t make sense.” 

Gabriel St-Charles
Gabriel St-Charles. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

From there, St-Charles shifted his focus from politics to religion and started creating posts and videos about apologetics and various Catholic content, making connections with other Catholics and content creators.  

Seeing the need for a platform in which Catholics like himself could easily and intentionally meet people, St-Charles self-funded the project, working with a development team to make it a reality. 

“I’m someone who has always loved to build and create solutions,” he said. “There’s so many potential connections centered on faith, and there wasn’t a platform for this to happen.” 

The app is not meant to replace other social media or networking apps, St-Charles said, but it does fill the need for a Catholic-specific networking app.  

Co-host of the Catholic podcast Just Like You, Michael Villarreal uses the app daily to connect with potential guests and editors for his show.  

“What CatholicNetworker is doing is allowing people to come together and connect with whoever — from different walks of life, different career fields — and now I’m getting people from around the world,” Villarreal said.  

He said the app has enabled him to expand his guests on his show, helping him find Catholics in Florida, Hawaii and Europe.  

Cassidy Mann, a video strategist from DM Productions. said she downloaded the app soon after its release.  

“I’ve been able to meet like-minded Catholic filmmakers and connect with other creators in a space that loves the Catholic Church. You don’t really see that in the art space.” 

Mann said she will be meeting some of her connections in person at the upcoming National Eucharistic Congress as well as Catholic music festival Catholicpalooza in New Jersey.  

While this is the first iteration of CatholicNetworker, St-Charles is working to create a feature in the app for users to advertise events in their areas and meet local Catholics in person. He said he is hopeful users can one day organize trips and pilgrimages through the app as well.  

“It’s always going to be a human desire to connect with people like us,” he said. “If your faith is the one thing you center your whole life around, what could be more important to connect over than that?”