Cloistered Nuns on Social Media?!
Well…yes and no. It’s a valid question and deserves a fuller answer.
The intriguing problem of how to meet the challenge of the New Evangelization, the rapid changes in communications technology, and the need to preserve the monastic cloister has been one we have been praying about for a period of years.
We cautiously began a website in 2010, merely ‘pushing’ information about our community out into the world wide web. The foray into Facebook and Twitter, where we can receive feedback, has been undertaken with equal trepidation and care only recently in early 2015. For one, we realize the danger of the world getting into the cloister electronically. And secondly, we also realize and appreciate the question it raises:
What are enclosed nuns doing on Facebook and Twitter anyway?
The actual answer is, “We aren’t.” Our community is represented there by means of a dedicated and generous layman, our Communications Director, Scott Maentz, who manages
the interfaces for us. We provide the content and how we would like it to be presented and he does the heavy lifting, as it were, leaving us as undisturbed by the intrusion of the outside world as possible. We still maintain the ability to directly communicate, but aren’t overburdened by the technology or consumed by it.
With Scott, we have a layer of protection. He is like a guardian standing on the digital cloister wall protecting us from not only what may be harmful but from what is unnecessary in the enclosure. The peace this helps to establish, so that we maintain the primacy of the spiritual, is priceless.
Handmaids themselves individually do not access social media or email for personal use. Any computer based tools are for work and administrative duties only.
We welcome your comments and feedback via these new venues and thank you for your prayers for us.
“Our prayer is primary. I think anybody interested in our community truly wants us to be able to pray and pray well, especially as we are giving our lives for priests. People wouldn’t want to be ruining that. But they are also eager to learn about us, our events, our developments and needs and to let us know they are praying for us. These social media venues allow that interaction at a greater level but it still has to be done in a way that preserves our cloister even while we share our charism of prayer for priests and encourage everyone to pray for them. I really appreciate that people understand our need to maintain enclosure…even on social media.”
Rev. Mother Marietta, H.P.B.