Whom do I know who would make a great sister? Who radiates the joy of Christ?"
Imagine Sisters wants to know.
The Web and campus-based resource — with a team comprised of sisters, young women and seminarians who want to express the joy of becoming a sister — was created to inspire and support vocations to Catholic women’s religious life. Imagine Sisters reaches more than 100,000 viewers weekly through its website and Facebook page. The organization strives to heighten the profile of "sisters on fire for their faith" in order to show young women the beauty of the religious vocation.
"Young women are rarely encouraged to consider being a sister, even among faithful Catholics," said Dan Rogers, the sisters’ media and outreach coordinator.
The Imagine Sisters’ website, ImagineSisters.org, "passionately proposes the possibility of becoming a sister in the world today" by providing a wealth of vocation resources. Besides links to the organization’s blog, Twitter and Facebook pages, there are aids to discernment, a discussion board, events listing, information for parents of children who are being called to the religious life and a popular "Ask a Sister" feature.
To help promote vocations, the organization recently launched the One Rose Initiative, a venture that invited Catholics to offer a single rose to a young woman whom God may be calling to the religious life. The one-day effort took place on Oct. 1, the feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
Said Rogers, "The One Rose Invitation was an inspiration from St. Thérèse, whose heart’s desire was to be a sister and who truly has a compassion for young vocations. It is a gesture intended to convey the beauty of the calling to be Christ’s consecrated bride and a spiritual mother to all God’s people through the invitation of a friend or family member."
A short video explaining the One Rose Initiative was disseminated primarily through social media. Supporters were encouraged to share the video on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and personal blogs. Both the high visibility of the video and the widespread response to the initiative speak of the effectiveness of new media.
Imagine Sisters’ latest ventures include the "Light of Love" project and the innovative "Cameras for Sisters." Both projects optimize the use of visual media to "ignite the conversation of vocational discernment." Scheduled for release in spring 2013, the "Light of Love" video will explore the lives and vocations of religious sisters across the United States. Its premise is that "the smile and testimony of a religious sister is true evidence of God’s loving, faithful existence." The "Cameras for Sisters" project will put video cameras into the hands of religious sisters of various orders, enabling them to record interviews with sisters in their communities, give tours of their convents and introduce their missions. Footage will be used to create a DVD intended for worldwide distribution.
Celeste Behe writes from