Priests on Facebook

While some may scoff at Facebook, others, like Father Nels Gjengdahl, associate pastor at St. Odilia in Shoreview, Minn., views the online social networking site as “an avenue” to make connections with young people.

The 29-year-old priest even posts his homilies on his Facebook page.

Father Gjengdahl and other priests spoke with The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, about how they use Facebook in their priestly ministry.

The topic of using online tools in ministry is also getting some attention at St. Paul Seminary in Minnesota. Father Robert Pish, dean of men at the seminary, said faculty and staff members are just starting to look more closely at this.

Although he didn’t give Facebook a big shout out, he did acknowledge that it shouldn’t be ignored.

“This is the way people are communicating, today,” he said. ” Whether we like it or not, it is a way to reach out to people and we shouldn’t reject it out of hand.”

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4 Responses to Priests on Facebook

  1. Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, now has a fan page on Facebook. It’s an avenue to connect young people in particular with the Gospel message. The Cardinal says we have to be where the people are and use every means of communication possible to tell of the Good News.
    Find the page at

  2. Fr John Flynn says:

    In Australia the archdiocese of Sydney runs its own social networking site –

  3. HI!

    Besides the University web site for the Chaplaincy, I have had a Facebook site for some time.

    The kids think its great and I can keep up for them.

    God Bless,

    Fr. Dave O’Leary
    Tufts University

  4. Are there any priests or parishes that regret joining Facebook or Twitter. My parish is evaluating the pros and cons. Are there arguments against participating in social networking?
    Thank you.

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