The Facebook page for the Diocese of Ferns

Irish priests have turned to Facebook in a bid to attract new recruits.

The Diocese of Ferns has launched a campaign, “Is God Calling You?” and there's a new Facebook page to help promote it.

The priests are also using more traditional tools such as DVDs, CDs, and prayer cards but the Facebook page has sparked a mini-media storm.

The diocese was also home to one of the the most notorious child sexual abuse scandals within the Irish Catholic Church.
 
Since the scandal, the number of ordinations in the diocese has dropped from 17 in the 1990s to just five since 2000.
 
Fr. Joseph McGrath, who set up the Facebook page said the diocese was in “a difficult position.”
 
But, he said, “We’re not interested in restoring the past. We want to prepare for the future.”
 
Speaking at the launch of the campaign Bishop Denis Brennan said that he hoped it would “reach and touch many, many people.”
 
However, Bishop Brennan said the Church was not looking for people trying to escape the recesision.
 
“We'd like people to come to us because of who we are and what we do,” he said.
 
As of 6.00 pm Tuesday March 24, the Facebook group, “Priesthood in The Diocese of Ferns,” had 20 members – six of whom were women.