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The Deacon's Bench

Those savvy media types up in Boston are on the case:

Want to get friended by Cardinal Sean?

Or maybe LOL with your local parish priest over his latest tweet?

First the Boston archdiocese joined Facebook. Now local Catholics have their own social-network community – apparently one of the first of its kind for an American diocese.

The archdiocese and Catholic TV have launched iCatholic.com, a Facebook-style website where members can share comments, post photos and blogs, and join discussions.

Aimed primarily at younger, Web-active believers, the site’s theme is “I am Catholic; we are the church.”

“We’re coming to where you live,” said the Rev. Robert Reed, president of Catholic TV. “We’re making sure we stay on the cutting edge of technology.”

At the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, media relations director Sister Mary Ann Walsh couldn’t immediately confirm that iCatholic is the American church’s first such site. But she said Boston has been “way out in front” of other dioceses in making use of social media.

“We need to make sure we’re up there as much as possible” – especially to reach Catholics and spiritual seekers in their 20s and 30s, Sister Mary Ann said of the U.S. church.

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