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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Archbishop launches global Twitter Campaign for Vocations"

UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS - On Friday, June 19, Dutch Archbishop Eijk of Utrecht asked the world to join in prayer for vocations to the priesthood - using Twitter. Using one of the computers of the archdiocesan seminary in Utrecht, the bishop launched a ‘Global Twitter Campaign for Vocations’ by posting a call for prayer on the fast-growing social network. In his message, he invites his Twitter-followers to spread the initiative around the world.

“The world is in dire need of priests to celebrate the Eucharist, the heart and the source of our faith,” the archbishop said. “We want to join the Holy Father at the start of this ‘Year of the Priest’ by answering Jesus’ call to pray for workers to bring in the harvest (Luke 10:2). Twitter is one of the fastest growing social networks in the world, so it’s a great medium to get many people involved in this prayer-campaign.”

Like in many other dioceses around the world, the need for priests is great in the Dutch Archdiocese of Utrecht. Projections show that five years from now, only 50 priests will still be active. They will work in 48 large parishes with over 300 churches.

“In our diocese alone, we need another 100 new priests,” the bishop said Friday. “However, quality is even more important than quantity. It’s not easy to be a priest in our world today, so we need men who are ready to follow Christ with total dedication.”

Archbishop Eijk hopes that Catholics will use Twitter every day during the Year of the Priest to remind their friends to pray for vocations. An international website, http://www.futurepriests.com/, offers participants in the campaign a place to meet with seminarians, priests and young men discerning their vocation.

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