A chance conversation with a young woman who is preparing to become a lay Dominican in the near future alerted me to a fine article in one of the world's best known lifestyle magazines for women. Marie Claire (the United States version) carries a very good article on a young Dominican nun who has joined the cloistered community in Summit, New Jersey in the United States. The eye-catching title of the article 'God called me on YouTube' tells a modern day vocation story. Sr Mary Teresa is prompted to think of her vocation while watching a YouTube clip, and ends up as a cloistered Dominican nun. However, despite the attractive title of the article, the fundamentals of a religious vocation are highlighted - prayer, a deep sense of a relationship with God, the call to be of service and to give oneself totally to God are all covered. You can see the article here.
Many religious orders nowadays are using social media to try and attract interest in their way of life and as a method of attracting vocations. Pope Benedict has been extolling the virtues of responsible use of social media in the past few years and will, as has been widely publicised, begin tweeting from December 12th next. The vocations office for the Irish Dominican friars continues to receive over 90% of its enquiries through our vocations website, blogs, Facebook and Twitter accounts. We can not afford to underestimate the power and usefulness of these forms of communication.
These tools of communication help with presenting religious vocation as a viable and attractive option for those who engage with them. The social media sites can also be informative and educational about religious life too. This YouTube clip below from the brothers of the Western Dominican province in the United States gives a great insight into the Dominican habit. Enjoy!