This week, Catholic Exchange has launched a new and creative web service to solve age-old spiritual problems. “Brother Sebastian” is waiting to talk to you, to provide wise counsel and spiritual advice to anyone who has access to a computer.
On February 20, 2012, Catholic Exchange kicked off the “Ask a Monk” chat button on their webpage.
Harold Fickett, editor-in-chief of Catholic Exchange, explained that “Ask a Monk” is something he’s been wanting to do for a long time. “It’s part of turning an online publication into a multi-faceted tool of evangelization. Beyond providing information, the internet can connect people and enable them to act in concert. It can be used for the Kingdom of God, not only virtually but in the real world. We have so many opportunities in this way—‘Ask A Monk’ is a sign of things to come.”
“Ask A Monk” works in two ways—via live chat and email. When Brother Sebastian is not online, you can always send him an email. He will answer your emails just as soon as possible. You just go to the same place on the Catholic Exchange homepage, click on the “Ask A Monk” button, and fill out the form with your email message.
Who Is Brother Sebastian? Well, Actually, Brother Sebastian isn’t a real monk. He’s a whole bunch of monks.
“Brother Sebastian,” Fickett explains, “is the collective name we have given to a small group of cloistered Benedictines who will be staffing this service. They have asked that their monastery and the individuals involved remain anonymous in order to follow their Rule’s counsel of humility. They are enthusiastic about extending spiritual counsel to the laity in this new way.”
A caveat for those who might want to turn to Brother Sebastian with serious spiritual problems. The website reminds you that communication with Brother Sebastian does not substitute for the Sacrament of Confession (Reconciliation). Be sure to see your parish priest for the sacrament.