Modern Mating

When Technology and the Sexes Collide

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Nuns and Monks and Online Dating?

While dating isn't generally part of becoming a nun or a monk, there is a whiff of online dating at the site: seeks to hook those seeking to connect with spiritual communities or who are considering a religious life, with the right community. The site offers ads from the Benedictine sisters, inviting single Catholic women to their monastery in Duluth Minnesota. There are ads from the Jesuits in New Orleans, inviting men to come down and meet with Jesuit novices and then to experience several days in a directed, silent retreat.

Between the "Nun Runs", the "Discernment Retreats", and the opportunity to live "the monastic experience", it's clear that religious orders have learned something from MySpace and are actively marketing themselves to a demographic group that is largely lacking from convents and monasteries.

The line "Dare to come, see, and dream with us" could just as easily be a listing on a swingers site, but instead, it's the Sisters of St. Francis inviting young women to spend Advent Saturday with them, and to share a Sunday Mass.

Vocation Match has a database containing over 300 religious communities, and the site offers two ways to find the right match. First, there's a text search capacity and then there's a matching algorithm. So if you're a woman with a strong interest in the environment and social justice, the Benedictine Sisters of Watertown South Dakota could be right for you. And if you're a guy who is interested in pursuing interfaith dialogue or overseeing rehab programs, joining the brothers of St. Francis of Assisi might be your dream monastic date.