Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Social Media and Discernment

by Kate, discerner

Sister Mary Catherine Conway, D.C., and Kate prep
the Thanksgiving feast in Evansville.
Social media made a huge impact on my discernment.

When I first started considering religious life, I took the Vision Vocation Match quiz. It led me to almost a hundred communities. I spent the next few weeks poring over their websites. I didn't want anyone to know I was discerning, so I relied solely on online resources.

As I began to narrow down this impossibly long list, I dug deeper into learning about different communities. It wasn't until I had narrowed the list considerably that I contacted any vocation directors.

A few months later I was still feeling called to religious life, but had not found an order I felt truly called to, so once again I went online. By Google searching random keywords I had discovered thus far in my discernment process, I found a few orders I really liked, the Daughters of Charity included.

Once again I took this (much smaller) list and began to study them online. I checked websites, blogs, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram among other social media platforms. Being able to read back through old posts helped me understand not only the basics of the order, but let me see the charism lived out.

As I narrowed in on the Daughters, participating in the online retreats and discernment group helped continue my growth and understanding of the charism. By the time I met the Daughters in person in August, I felt I had known them a lifetime. Visiting various Daughters' houses and attending discernment retreats in Philadelphia, Evansville and St. Louis allowed me to see the Sisters live out the charism I spent so much time looking at online.

The initial social media contact gave me the courage to continue my discernment journey. I am so grateful for how active the Daughters are on social media, paying attention to new platforms and ways to evangelize.

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