If the web helps vocations

Twelve's is the social network created by the diocese of Zamora to guide adolescents and youths in their lifelong choices, whether lay or religious

A vocations social network was presented in Zamora, Spain. Its experts and coordinators, summoned by the Secretariat for the pastoral care of vocations in the diocese of Zamora, explained the details of the initiative. Keeping the pace of modern times. While underlining that the young and the less young make increasing use of social networks to contact other people, the director of the diocesan Secretariat for the pastoral care of vocations, dean of the Seminary Major and Minor of Zamora, Florentino Pérez, highlighted the “need to create a truly Christian environment to prompt the development of a vocations culture, offering guidance to all those youths and adolescents that are seeking to understand the will of God in their life, without nonetheless replacing the personal processes of accompaniment of vocation”. Twelve’s, Pérez said, “is designed to become an educational tool to promote a vision of Christian life from a vocations angle, adopting the language commonly used by adolescents and 21st century youths, such as social networks”. Creating bridges. “Twelve’s is a network- but it can also be described as a private Catholic social platform meant to support all adolescents and youths that are seeking to learn God’s project for them. The intention is to help the students of the Seminary and other centres, thereby helping them progress in their Christian maturation processes”, underlined Dalia Díez, psychologist, involved in student orientation at the Minor Seminary. In the new social network users will have the opportunity to exchange information and establish communication with other users, “with the purpose of identifying preliminary Catholic vocation orientation”. It’s not a question of bypassing the vocational discernment process through authentic accompaniment – the psychologist pointed out – but to create bridges, in harmony with the vocational formation plans of the Seminary or of each ecclesial institution or college”. In the personal growth project, “once the vocation is clearly identified, users will have the opportunity of contacting the ecclesial institution (orders or religious congregations, institutes for religious life, diocesan seminaries, ecclesial movements…) that are interested in expressing their personal vocational disquiet, and if deemed appropriate, initiate a vocational maturity project, with the accompaniment of those who carry out this mission inside the Church”, Diaz said. How to register. Computer expert José Miguel Cañete, developer for Twelve’s, said that “a flexible platform has been adopted, with the purpose of making it grow and develop, just like Facebook and other social networks, without loosing track of security”. The other technology manager, Yerae Martín, highlighted the fact that “access to Twelve’s is forbidden to children under 14, unless they have their parents’ consent”. Moreover, in order to be a user of Twelve’s they must first receive an email invitation or on their mobile phone from a friend or a user. Or the person interested can ask to be a member of this safe social network”. Four ways. After having received the invitation every person can register on Twelve’s in four different ways, according to the kind of user. In the first case are included “conventional users”, i.e. “adolescents and youths over 14 that show an interest to seek the place that Jesus Christ has in their life and identify which form of Christian life best corresponds to them, whether lay, religious, or priestly”. In the second case there are “accompaniers”, namely, adults who have proved to have “the necessary qualities to realize distance vocational accompaniment”. They can be pastoral coordinators in colleges, masters of novices, seminary formators. In the third case there are “witnesses”, i.e., “youths who have already chosen a concrete path of Christian life and seek to share their experience with other users to clarify their doubts, offer guidance and listen to them”. Finally, there are the “communities”, i.e., church institutions that through this profile “seek to offer other users information on themselves that will help know more of their form of life, charisma, forms of contacts, so that the users may figure out whether their disquiet coincides with the forms of life presented by the communities and contact them to initiate an authentic, personal process of accompaniment”.

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