Support the Café

Search our Site

The Atlantic takes note of nuns online

The Atlantic takes note of nuns online

The Atlantic, arriving late to the party, asks whether social media can be used for evangelism in a nice profile of Sister Helena Burns, a Roman Catholic nun who is active online. Emma Green writes:

So how does a nun use social media? “I try to really keep up with the comments on my blog, and also Twitter and Facebook,” Burns told me. “I’m also on Instagram and Vine a little bit. How I do it is during the day, while I’m doing my other work, I’ll keep zipping over to social media.” In other words, the social-media habits of a nun sound exactly like the social-media habits of any college student, office worker, or otherwise regular human.

The difference is in tone and intention. Burns pointed me toward the Facebook page “Imagine Sisters,” where young women discuss the possibility of joining a religious order. (“It’s becoming a ‘thing’ to say ‘I’m in discernment,'” Burns notes.)

Burns sees social media as “way to evangelize” Green writes.

“I want to use the latest, most modern, most efficacious media and media technology to reach the greatest number of people with the holy spirit,” she said.

To her, Twitter and Facebook and Instagram are like many other regions of the world: Some people are part of Christian communities; some people are part of secular communities; and some people straddle both. Evangelizing online is just like evangelizing anywhere else: You build communities animated by Christian values, which exist alongside every other community. ….

“We should be the best at this, because as Catholics, we believe in sacraments. We believe God is constantly working through matter, that icons can be sacred.” In other words, the Internet isn’t just a vortex of rage; like everything else, it’s a medium through which God can reach the world.

It is possible that visitors to this blog will find this story old news. But when he mainstream media takes note of something that you have been doing for years, and treats it as though it is news, sometimes it is a sign that you are making progress.



Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café