A young priest in County Carlow is using Twitter to promote the Stations of the Cross in an effort to bring the Catholic Church to the social networking generations.
Father Paddy Byrne, of Bagenalstown, County Carlow, invented "Tweet around the Cross" with the hop of attracting followers online. His Twitter account was launched on Ash Wednesday.
He tweeted "Tweet around the Cross- Good Friday 9-10pm. A chance to pray and tweet our hopes, to Jesus, our friend and Lord. #Holyweek"
On Good Friday Byrne will send appropriate tweets inviting his online followers to post responses, prayers or messages.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner he said "I’m a firm believer in the principle of evangelization, which is being able to utilize the good news that’s out there. People don’t have to come into church but the churches have to go out to them and social media is a good way of doing that.
"A lot of it is a generational thing and my age group are certainly in the minority within the priesthood so the older guys would struggle with it. But I think it’s something that’s going to grow dramatically."
The young priest believes that "there’s a great appetite out there for hope."
Sending tweets from his iPhone he has sent messages such as "Its always possible to talk to Jesus. Pray with ur heart. His love is real and deeply relevant. Jesus is the Way. Turn to him" and "The good news of this day is that God nourishes us and fills us with his love."
Byrne already has over 500 followers on Twitter. His screen name on Twitter is frpaddybyrne.