WASHINGTON — Students in professor Chad Pecknold's newest class come from Canada, Uruguay, France, Germany, England, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, and all across the United States, but two things unite them all — a printed copy of St. Augustine's "City of God" and their Twitter accounts.
By Dave Luecking | firstname.lastname@example.org | twitter: @legacyCatholic
Between classes at Missouri University of Science and Technology, junior Jake Braun killed time by "absent-mindedly scrolling through" Twitter at his apartment in Rolla.
A tweet by Father Brian Fallon, the archdiocese's assistant vocations director, stopped him cold.
"Yo St. Louis! If you think God's calling you to be a priest/sister, DM me! #subtle @stlvocations"
Braun, now 23, had indeed been thinking about the priesthood, more so in the previous year but going back to when he started serving Mass at about 7 or 8 years old, he said last month at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.
I know people who gave up social media for Lent. I tried to go the other way. Plug in. Get social. Mention, hashtag and link.
My focus mostly was Twitter, a forum as volatile as it is friendly. It should be a great platform of evangelization for Catholic journalists. Through its mentions and hashtags, the Gospel message has potential to reach many people who wouldn't see stories in print. Often, those people are marginal — even hostile — toward the Church. That's OK. Jesus and His disciples didn't just preach to the choir.
Melina Birchem has uploaded 777 images to her Instagram account over the past two years: sushi, Starbucks, her new tattoo, rosary beads, cowboy boots. Sometimes the juxtaposition is jarring. A glowing monstrance, a chilled margarita. A snapshot from waitressing, a prayer journal documenting her consecration to the Blessed Mother.