4.30.2012

Nuns Online

I appreciated the post by Sister Maxine over on A Nun's Life today.  If you're interested and intrigued by the life and times of modern day Catholic Sisters, I highly recommend A Nun's Life to you.  Sister Julie and Sister Maxine have an amazing ministry of presence through their blog and podcasts and provide a generally helfpul outlook on life.  They help to keep the online nunly presence both real and reasonable and for that I for one am very grateful.

Sister Maxine's post pointed out a news story from Baltimore's ABC news affiliate that seems surprised to find Sisters on the internet, as they say, "recruiting."

Nuns Go High Tech to Recruit
The Internet has made a huge difference in how religious communities are recruiting, Tuohy said. Besides websites and Facebook pages, some are using podcasts, YouTube videos and chat rooms. According to a 2009 study commissioned by NRVC, 87 percent of religious institutes had used the Internet for vocation promotion in the past five years.

"Many of the religious communities are very savvy," Tuohy said. "I think people find this surprising, but in fact because they're working with young people, they're trying to stay in tune with young people -- that's who their market is, young men and women."

Audra Turnbull, 23, turned to the Internet when she felt the calling in college. Inside the chapel at Quincy University in Quincy, Ill., she pulled out her laptop, Googled "nuns" and found a website called A Nun's Life. In time, she checked out dozens of other websites, YouTube videos and social media before getting touch with a motherhouse in Monroe, Mich., where she plans to join the ministry.

Those tools are invaluable for "nunnabes" -- wannabe nuns -- like her, she said.

"It's hard to find nuns these days to talk to them," she said. "So a sister being interviewed or giving ministry on YouTube has been huge because you put yourself in that place and visualize what you want to be doing."

Turnbull expects to become a sister in two to three years. She's also created a blog of her own called The Awkward Catholic, which takes readers through the process of entering religious life.

Read more: http://www.abc2news.com/dpp/news/national/nuns-go-high-tech-to-recruit#ixzz1taUv2bP2

This is actually not news.  Well, "nunnabes" is a new-to-me term, which I love!  But otherwise, as I say this is not news.  Way back when, in 2003 when I thought that maybe possibly some day I might listen to that persistently annoying thought that God might be calling me to be a Sister, I was a nun website lurker.

I visited the websites for various religious communities, including the one I now call my own!  While I was taught by a few Sisters and knew a few in my parish, it was great to be able to read about the different communities, read their news tidbits, see that people still were answering the call to religious life.  I also visited the websites of all sorts of nun related organizations and checked out different discernment blogs.  Really, that's why I started this blog.  Finding Sisters online, and "nunnabes" online--see, I'm already using your term Audra!--gave me permission to explore this wonderful crazy way of life myself.

I know I'm not alone.  Both Chero and I who made final vows this past year found the community online.  The two women who just became Candidates found the community through our website as well, and I believe the two women who are considering applying for Candidacy are in the same boat.  It's really wonderful if you think about it.  The Spirit moves in surprising and techno-savvy ways!

3 comments:

Susan Rose, CSJP said...

Same story is also on Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20120429/us-sister-shortage-internet/

Awkward Catholic said...

Sister Susan!!! Okay...wow... I've been reading your blog for as long as I have read A Nun's Life. Your blog has been so infuelential in my discernment. This is so cool.

Thanks for linking my blog. I did get a few more views. :)

Use "Nunnabe" as much as you want. And thank you for the prayers!

Blessings,
Audra

Susan Rose, CSJP said...

The discerning to be a sister world is small.

But wait until you realize how small (and connected) the young nun world is!

We're all in this together. Happy to have you along for the journey Audra!