Sr. Amanda Marie Detry

Sisters take to social media to spread Christ’s message

  • October 4, 2020

Pointing people to Christ through mediums like Instagram and Facebook is a calling fit for a millennial nun and Sr. Amanda Marie Detry is a perfect fit.

Since the spring, the 30-year-old of the Daughters of St. Paul has run the @MediaNunsCanada platforms, the social media handle connected to Pauline Books and Media in Toronto. On any given day while helping to run the Catholic bookstore Detry might take time to jump on her laptop for a scheduled livestream chat or whip out her Samsung Galaxy S8 to post something to Instagram.

While she admits running the accounts has been somewhat of a learning curve, it’s all part of the mission of the Pauline Sisters to share the message of Christ through modern platforms.

“We want to use (social media) as a tool for communication, and that is also a way to invite people to communicate with us,” said Detry. “We want people to be reminded of God and His love and also that our book centre is here. We’re a local presence in Toronto so we want to let people know that we’re accessible as a way to find resources to deepen their relationship with Christ, or even just to stop on a picture (on Instagram) and be reminded that God loves them.”

Recently the sisters started a regular Facebook live series called #SpiritualCommunion.

“The #SpiritualCommunion conversations really began at the beginning of the pandemic when our churches were closed and we literally couldn’t receive Jesus in the Eucharist,” said Detry about the program that airs Monday and Wednesday. “It’s about the idea that the grace of the Lord is present in that act of spiritual communion even though it wasn’t the same as physically receiving the Lord.

“Whether we were following Mass on television or whatnot, to be able to share that idea of Christ living in us and to make it concrete in a way, even though we’re physically distanced, was the desire that spiritual communion came out of.”

Even with many returning to in-person service, the sisters continue to press forward with the sessions seeing the need for the content is still very much present. Working on a rotation of two panelists per episode, Detry and other sisters cover topics which include everything from racism to spiritually navigating the challenges of 2020 and growing in relationship with Christ through all the distraction of the modern world.

“We thought, we can’t go out and give people hugs, talks and listen to people’s stories, but we can have spiritual conversations together and share from our hearts,” said Sr. Maria-Kim Bui, who oversees the Daughters of St. Paul corporate accounts and was one of the sisters behind the initial launch. “As real people we had family members that were facing illness and different obstacles financially, so we just wanted to be in communion with our brothers and sisters.”

Though it’s not always easy to see how the ministry is impacting people’s lives, the sisters strive to reach as many as possible.

“We want to be people’s online sisters in Christ,” said Detry. “We’re always as Daughters of St. Paul looking at ways that we can make that presence even stronger and make Christ more and more palpably felt in what we do and who we are.”

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