Social Media Missionaries

Father Adam MacDonald fits in quite well on our St. Ambrose University campus, and knows how to take a lit selfie.

This week at St. Ambrose University I participated in our chapel’s “Busy Student Retreat”, a four day event held on campus. Students only have to sacrifice 30 minutes to an hour of their ‘busy’ day, and spend some time in prayer before meeting with their spiritual guide. Participants then take 30 minutes to discuss anything they want with their spiritual guide, which could be anything from daily readings to what has been weighing on their shoulders.

The Busy Student Retreat is held every semester, and this year is my second time participating. Father Adam was my spiritual guide for the week, a retreat veteran who has helped lead this retreat at SAU since 2011. I was so blessed to meet with Fr. Adam, and this week has been a much needed breath of fresh air from the struggles of college. We talked about anything and everything, including boyfriends, coffee, and even nuns who dress in pink from head to toe. More than anything, I was able to express what’s on my heart, and how to grow closer in my personal relationship with God.

Fr. Adam joined the Divine Word Missionaries in 1988, as a 17 year old freshman in college. The Divine Word Missionaries is the largest international missionary congregation in the Catholic Church, and focuses on ministering and helping anyone in need. In 2000 Fr. Adam became ‘Father’ Adam, and was ordained a priest.

Serving the Divine Word Missionaries, Fr. Adam is a vocation director, and he helps minister to anyone interested in religious life, especially men considering a priestly vocation. This job causes Fr. Adam to travel all over to meet with people, participate in retreats and events, give talks, or to promote the Divine Word Missionaries. He clarifies with a laugh,

“I’m a vocation directer, not a vacation director, just because I travel often.”

It’s his humor and kindness that makes him a leader for Divine Word, and Fr. Adam has a large presence on social media. Fr. Adam uses Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, along with the Divine Word Missionaries personal Facebook account. In a time where many blame social media for our societal problems, some wonder if a priest should be active on these platforms. Fr. Adam believes that this is exactly why he should post. If he can reflect just one glimpse of God’s light to someone scrolling on Twitter, it’s all worth it.

As a vocations directer for the Divine Word Missionaries, Fr. Adam knows their mission better than anyone, and that’s to share Christ’s words with the world. Name a better way to do that than on an international social media site!

Fr. Adam explains how he promotes and educates about the Divine Word Missionaries online in three ways:

  1. Report about current events in the community. This allows people to feel like a part of the organization when they hear about new members, events, and special announcements.
  2. Let people know what they do, what they’re doing, and where you can find them.
  3. Share media to give people tools and resources for discernment.

These actions help followers understand and stay interested in Divine Word Missionaries, and Fr. Adam is a social media pro.

However, the Busy Student Retreat is now over, and it’s back to homework (like this blog) and stress eating cafeteria food. Maybe Fr. Adam should come back. I need more guidance.

xoxo, busy student girl

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