Diocesan web site
The internet is one of the great modern tools at the disposal of the Local Ordinary to foster vocations in his diocese. St Paul would certainly approve of a well managed web site that clearly highlighted “vocations” on its home page.
A survey carried out in the United States in 2008 has revealed that Communities’ web sites were considered “important” or “very important” sources of vocation information by 70 percent of the respondents.
Some key dioceses feature on their vocations section letters from both the Bishop and the Director of Vocations to those who are interested in the priesthood. At the same time the web site may offer an in-depth introduction to the diocese together with its history and profiles of its seminarians. One can also easily access detailed information about the “local” seminary and how to learn more about studying for the priesthood.
Arlington Diocese has an excellent display of photos on its vocations web site illustrating “life in the seminary” such as Candidacy Ceremonies, Cassock Day, New Lectors and Acolytes, Transitional Diaconate and culminating with photographs of the new men being ordained priests for the diocese. One can also find pictures of outdoor events enjoyed by the seminarians as well as visits to the seminary by potential candidates. In short it offers a brief history of life in the seminary in pictures for all to see.
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s web site welcomes the visitor by its simple and logical display. It invites the guest to click on to the Vocations Office section so that he (or she) may discover the answer to a number questions that may concern the potential candidate or their parent. It is worth a look.
The Archdiocese of Melbourne has a video presentation by Archbishop Denis Hart welcoming his visitors and encourages them to discover the wealth of information that is available about the Call and the Ministry in the archdiocese. It also offers access to some “You Tube” clips covering the Priesthood, becoming a priest, celibacy and the rite of ordination to the priesthood. It is well worth a visit.
It has been said that if St Paul were alive today he would use Facebook, MySpace and YouTube. Interestingly, the diocese of Richmond has introduced these modern means of communication to stimulate an interest in vocations with its new web site called http://www.behindthecollar.com This campaign is proving very successful in enabling young men who are presently considering the priesthood to connect with those who have answered the call. Visitors to this innovative web site can see unscripted videos with priests and seminarians talking openly about their lives. It has much to offer all Directors of Vocations.
On the web site for the diocese of Savannah, in addition to a short history and introduction from the bishop one can see a large colour poster (which has been distributed to all its parishes and missions) containing the photographs of all their diocesan seminarians. It also displays a small card which is ideal for inserting into a prayer book containing a prayer and a monthly calendar listing the names of their seminarians on one side with those of the diocesan priests on the reverse together with the suggested days on which one might pray especially for the nominees. One can learn much about the priesthood in Savannah from its easily accessible newsletters and testimonials of its recently ordained clergy.
Vocations Guide to Priesthood