Yesterday the National Catholic Register published an interesting article entitled “Sisters Go Online to Promote Vocations,” on how communities of women religious are relying more on the Internet and social media, with some orders report a sharp rise in inquiries.
“For many women discerning religious vocations and communities seeking new members today, the Internet serves as both matchmaker and meeting place. Whereas in the past, most young women learned about religious communities from sisters in schools and other Catholic institutions, the decline in numbers of religious women has caused communities to find different ways of reaching those whom God may be calling to vowed life.
“Chief among these new practices has been use of the Internet, where communities can easily connect with possible candidates. Many, if not most, communities today have some kind of Internet presence–at minimum, a website explaining their history and charisms. Others, like the Mercy sisters, have gone even further by adding chat rooms, blogs, and Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts.”
While social networking alone isn’t enough to foster a “culture of vocations,” it’s increasingly becoming a significant part of the equation, according to a 2009 study conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).