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Spanish Nuns are Being Recruited Using Social Media

#HailMaryFullofGrace

www.bbc.co.uk

I never thought I’d hear myself saying this, but it looks like religion and social media are becoming pretty close bedfellows. First we had news about a priest taking confessions via Snapchat and now convents in Spain are turning to websites and social media platforms to recruit more nuns.

The first line of attack is a website called buscoalgomas.com, the front page of which shows a video of a woman addressing visitors who might be yearning for a new direction in life and asking if they’ve ever thought of turning to religion.

Elsewhere, the barefoot Carmelite convent has started using a Facebook page, Twitter feed and a WhatsApp account to field inquiries from potential recruits. Since 2012 they’ve gained a further 12 new nuns with a much younger median age. 12 nuns in 2 years might not seem like many, but convents aren’t large and convincing anyone to give up their old life and take the necessary vows is a pretty big step.

The same convent has also introduced a ‘trial run’ system wherein women can spend a little time there to see how it fits, with the option of just going home again if they decide it doesn’t really suit them. According to the prioress, around half of the women who do this end up sticking around.

In the past, convents relied heavily on people actually actively going and seeking them out, but times are changing and social media has proven to be a potent recruiting tool for the army, navy, charities and many other vocations. A nun in Mallorca who belongs to a group seeking to evangelise people via social media means has rising to prominence as the ‘tweeting nun’, with nearly 25,000 followers. She’s even in the habit of taking selfies during mass.

This movement is more than just timely, in the past 50 years dedicated membership to Spanish religious orders has dropped to less than a 20th of what it was, falling from the thousands to only just into the hundreds. The trend is definitely catching on though, and if more convents follow the example, those figures are likely to start climbing more steeply.
Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Spanish Nuns are Being Recruited Using Social Media Reviewed by Callum Davies on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 Rating: 5
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