Facebook has recently expanded its ad platform to those age 13-17.

This is a great boon to vocation promoters, such as vocation directors, since now we can reach children at a time of their life when they should be thinking about their life’s calling.

Girls and boys, Catholic religious and consecrated life silhouette

Children from their early teen years should be exposed to the vocation of the consecrated and religious life.

I remember years ago when Mother Assumpta Long, the founder of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, said something like, “We have these 14 and 15 year-old girls coming up to us and asking to join, but we have to tell them to wait until they are out of high school.”

She was pointing out that this is the age when young people start thinking about what they want to do in life. In years past, this was the age that many of them entered. Today, as they grow up, a Catholic boy or girl should be made aware of consecrated and religious life as an option for them. They need to see religious – if not at their parish – certainly in the media and on the internet.

Reaching teens with Facebook ads for vocations

Our Diocese of Rockford, IL, holds a vocation retreat for girls and for boys from seventh grade up through the senior year of high school. No doubt our bishop is planting some seeds that will bear fruit. It makes sense that at this time in their lives, teens should not only be aware of, but learn something concrete about religious and consecrated life.

Based on census figures and those of Facebook, at least five million Catholic teens in America scroll through their Facebook and Instagram feeds regularly. As they peer at the ads for clothes, sports items and fast food, don’t you think that they should be exposed to happy images of young sisters in their beautiful habits? Or of priests, brothers and religious giving witness in their daily lives? Of ads that invite them to “find their calling” with the use of a short quiz?

We at TreeFrogClick will be rolling out ads, and our vocation quizzes to children of this age soon. Of course, the children cannot attend the overnight vocation retreats yet, but they can certainly start to learn about individual religious communities.

I as a parent certainly want my two teens to know that religious life is a good option for Catholics.

I will let you know of the results of our vocation advertising to teens.