Religious orders say social media use spurs more interest in vocations
Several religious congregations and organizations are taking advantage of social media to “introduce” individuals discerning a call to a vocation and the seminary, convent or monastery that fits them.
With more than 1,400 likes on Facebook, the National Religious Vocation Conference takes full advantage of social networking, through its Vision Vocation Guide and other outlets.
At VocationMatch.com, also operated by the Chicago-based conference, a brief questionnaire tells “discerners” — those considering a commitment to religious life — what their seminary, convent or monastery matches are.
People post questions daily about their life circumstances, inquiring about what resources could help them find the right vocation fit, and Vision connects them with the congregation that matches their interests.
Patrice Tuohy, executive editor of the Vision Vocation Guide, said social media has brought the organization to a place greater than it could have been 15 years ago.
“As the community’s use of social networking has increased, so have inquiries. They have quadrupled since we started having a presence online,” she told Catholic News Service.
Vision is primarily a social networking site that attracts more than 200,000 visitors each year. Seventy-five percent of those are new visitors and 5,000 fill out profiles to find their vocational match, according to Vision’s tracking records.
Prior to its launch as an online social network, 150,000 copies of the Vision guide were printed, which resulted in 600 inquiries mailed in by readers.
Trinitarian Brother Josh Warshak of Baltimore credited Vision with giving him the information he needed in deciding what type of religious life was for him, and he would recommend it to any “discerner.”
“I tell people Vision is kind of like eHarmony for those who have a religious vocation, it matches up your personality with the order that fits you best,” he said. [More]