Diocese of Columbus launches Facebook application to encourage vocations

.- The Office of Vocations for the Diocese of Columbus has hired a marketing firm to develop and manage a Facebook application called Face Forward Columbus to help Catholic youth in central Ohio hear their vocation to the priesthood, religious life or marriage.

“Our responsibility is to preach the Good News wherever people are gathered,” said Fr. Jeff Coning, Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Columbus. “Kids are now gathering out on cyberspace, making it the new town square. We need to be in that town square interacting.”

The Office of Vocations recently hired Dublin, Ohio-based MJ2 Marketing to design, develop, and monitor the page. According to the diocese, it intends to reach 30,000 youth.

The page, described as a “dynamic, front-end gaming application,” has attracted more than 1,000 fans in its first 40 days.

Launched in December 2009, Face Forward is intended as a place where Catholic youth can gather to discuss real-life issues while exploring their faith and its relevance in their lives.

“We wanted them to be able to chat, listen, learn and interact with each other—and also become aware and more involved in their Catholic faith,” said Megan James, principal owner of MJ2 Marketing.

“We see kids from Watterson, Bishop Ready, Newark Catholic, and all over Ohio interacting. They are asking homework questions, discussing service projects, or the latest episode of ‘24.’ It is a place where kids feel comfortable to explore their Catholic faith together,” James added.

Each month a featured seminarian from the Pontifical College Josephinum posts his comments on the wall, contributes engaging video content and adds his own twists to a faith quiz and his own iPod playlist.

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