She is bubbly and enthusiastic, and you soon find out why.

Tonia Borsellino, a young woman about to enter the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, is excited about the idea of giving her life to God. She explains this, and answers other typical questions about religious life, in about twenty compelling and often humorous videos.

In only about two months her YouTube channel has gained 73 subscribers.

Tonia makes it seem so simple. In a video titled, “How I told my family,” she explains how she announced her decision to become a sister.

“I prepared by praying for my family as much as I possibly could,” she explains. Other videos she has made include “Discerning marriage vs. religious life,” “I’m going to be a…Sister! Whattt?!” and “I got my Nun shoes!”

Tonia’s excitement shows in her enthusiasm, and you can see that she has a solid maturity as a young woman, and a strong grasp of the faith. “God provided me with the strength to do that,” she said in giving her account of telling her parents that she was entering religious life.

Tonia, who will become a postulant with the Mercedarian Sisters in September, is an example of grass-roots promotion of religious life. In other words, it’s the vocation candidates themselves who are announcing and explaining their choice, rather than the community. Up to now, religious communities needed to expend much time and effort making promotional videos explaining who they were and what they were about.

But today, social media allows anyone with a simple camera and minimual technical expertise to easily make videos and reach thousands of people.

Her story was so compelling that my 13-year-old son stuck around to hear her entire talk.

Peer influence is powerful, and promoting the Gospel is very effective between persons in the same walk of life. And video is playing more of a part in social media nowadays. Seventy-nine percent of global commerce with internet traffic will be through video, Cisco reports. There’s no reason to think that value-based content, such as religious faith, will be any different.

Can any community do this?

Now, I can just hear many of you saying, “But we don’t have a bevy of 21-year-olds taking an interest in our community.”

I hear you. But I have read the vocation testimony of one nun who joined a contemplative community in 1958. Her testimony is worth telling others about, even today.

Why not take a simple video camera and tell your vocation story, no matter what your age? You’ll reach hearts for sure.

Read about an easy way to make a video for your community. 

Read also, “Can you really market vocations?”