The majority of men who contact the Archdiocese of Baltimore for information about the priesthood do it through e-mail. So it made sense for the archdiocese to have a top-notch Web site to be more proactive in reaching out to future priests through the World Wide Web, according to Father Gerard Francik, vocations director.
The archdiocese has just launched a new Web site, www.becomeapriest.org, devoted to providing information about discernment, the priestly life and applying for the priesthood. The site replaces an older one that was much less interactive, Father Francik said.
The new site features profiles of current seminarians, resources for discernment, advice for parents, prayers, links to men’s and women’s religious communities and video of seminarians talking about their vocation.
Four seminarians – Gonzalo Cadavid-Rivera, Joseph Gill, Christopher Little and Carlo Stebbings – maintain blogs on the site. Father Michael Triplett, a newly ordained priest studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, also blogs from the Eternal City.
“We realized the Web site is one of our best vehicles for awareness and recruitment,” said Father Francik, noting that the site was designed by Hodgins Design of Baltimore with much input from Andrew Veveiros, associate vocations director.
“I’m thrilled with it,” he said. “I think it’s easy to navigate and it provides young people with what they need for discernment.”
Father Francik said he hopes the Web site will one day include video features of ordination ceremonies and special events.
The vocations director said it was important to highlight seminarians on the site.
“The seminarians are the whole purpose of the vocation office,” he said. “The testimony of their own call helps inspire other people.”
One of the most popular features on the new site is the calendar of events, Father Francik said.
To promote the site, wrist bands with the Web address were distributed at the annual youth and young adult pilgrimage last month.
Catholics in the Archdiocese of Baltimore can support vocations by participating in World Day of Prayer for Vocations April 13. English and Spanish prayers for vocations can be found at http://www.usccb.org/vocations/prayers.shtml.