US Franciscan friars go digital, accept prayer requests via text
The Friars of Holy Name Province, who staff 40 parishes and have colleges, soup kitchens and food centers along the eastern seaboard, as well as groups in Peru and Tokyo, are among a few religious groups offering this type of digital service.
Its "Text a Prayer Intention to a Franciscan Friar" initiative, which is described as faith at your fingertips, is a novel way for Roman Catholics to connect.
"People are always saying to friars, 'Can you say a prayer for me?' Or 'Can you remember my mother who has cancer?'" Father David Convertino, the New York-based executive director of development for the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Name Province, said in an interview.
"I was thinking that a lot of people text everything now, even more than email, so why not have people have the ability to ask us to pray for them ... by texting."
The faithful simply text the word 'prayer' to 306-44, free of charge. A welcome message from the friars comes up along with a box to type in the request. When the it is sent, the sender receives a reply.
The intentions are received on a website and will be included collectively in the friars' prayers twice a day and at Mass.
It is one of several ways the friars hope to reach a younger audience, increase the number of faithful
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