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Twitter hashtag campaign, #lifeasapriest, shows priests to be regular guys

Numerous archdiocesan priests have accounts on social media, whether on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or another digital outlet.

They detail events at their parishes and schools, share links of pertinent topics of the day or opine about such and offer inspirational words or the Word of God. Or they're just being plain silly with photobombs or quips.

Basically, they use social media similarly to everybody else.

News flash: priests put their pants on one leg at a time! (Same with their compatriots in consecrated life.)

Five archdiocesan priests reinforced that message in mid-August with a Twitter hashtag campaign, #lifeasapriest. Fathers Peter Fonseca, John Schneier, Michael Grosch and Dan Kavanagh along with Msgr. Mike Dieckmann detailed their days. A priest in California — Father Tim Grumbach — even joined in, tweeting photos of his cool, hipster sneakers and his daily bike ride.

On #lifeasapriest day specifically and with social media presence in general, the priests have shown their lives to be more than celebrating Masses on Sunday. They rise early, drink lots of coffee, write sticky notes and watch the Cardinals in flip-flops, among other things.

In other words, they're regular guys.

"Sometimes I think it's good to get that out there; a lot of people don't know what the day of a priest looks like," said Father Grosch, the parochial administrator at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Shrewsbury. "At least when I was growing up, we saw the priest on Sunday, maybe at school or met him here and there, but we didn't see too much of him."

Not so in the digital world; priests are present 24/7, showing they live full lives beyond sacramental events, have interests similar to many people and perhaps help growing vocations.

"Maybe it can be inspiring to young men who might be thinking about the priesthood," Father Grosch said. 

RELATED ARTICLE(S):AN EDITOR'S LIFE | A Twitter feed belongs in print

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