PHILADELPHIA – You can connect with lots of people on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and texts.

Now, it seems, with the pope’s blessing, you can use all these media to make the ultimate connection.

On Jan. 24, the feast day of St. Francis de Sales — patron saint of journalists — Pope Benedict XVI issued a message titled “Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age.”

He invited Christians “to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible.” Pretty hip. (Note: The pope has his own social-media site, Pope2You.)

So do other clergy use social media in their duties?

A quick survey of priests, ministers, rabbis and one imam made clear that social media were made for religion, in which connection and community are key.

“I love Facebook,” says Pastor Andrena Ingram of St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Mount Airy. “You just reach everybody and anybody.”

Like many religious congregations, St. Michael’s has a robust website — “When people come to visit us from out of town, very often it’s because they saw the website.”

On Facebook, Ingram posts news and announcements, and coordinates a youth group. She also runs a separate Facebook page “to minister to those both infected and affected with HIV,” connecting her with people as far away as Africa. “It’s like a cyber-pastorship,” she says.

The Rev. Chris Walsh, pastor of St. Raymond of Penafort Church in Philadelphia’s Mount Airy neighborhood, says he “was dragged kicking and screaming into the cyber age.” But now he’s there and loving it.

“The parish has a Facebook fan page embedded in our parish website,” he says. “That, in turn, is linked to my Twitter account. I retweet articles, human-event stories. Every weekend, I remind everyone to go to church.”

The parish page has “several hundred followers,” he says, and the Twitter account “60-some.”

On a recent trip to the Holy Land, Walsh “was uploading videos and photos from my iPhone.” Parishioners followed him — and so did the kids at St. Raymond of Penafort School.

Walsh says that “our twentysomething parishioners contact me via these media much more often than by e-mail. They prefer the mobile media.”

Soon, Walsh will live-stream and archive his Sunday sermons for those who want to review or share them.

Rabbi Philip Warmflash is executive director of the Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education and Jewish Outreach Partnership, based in the Melrose Park area of Philadelphia. His organization gives seminars on how rabbis can use social media to keep congregations in touch and connected.

“Twitter and Facebook are ways of connecting that can reach people where they are,” Warmflash says. “It does what clergy have always done — it creates and sustains relationships. We build communities, and this is community.”

Clergy blog. They tweet. They make podcasts of talks and scripture readings.

Warmflash says, “This is how you’re going to reach the Gen-Xers and millennials. We’re dealing with digital natives now, and too many of us are digital immigrants.”

David Friedrich, executive director of Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park, Pa., says, “We reach about 65 percent of our congregation through e-mail. Out of 850 families, around 100 use Twitter to keep up-to-date. And people really use our website, for preschool issues, religious programming and our historic Frank Lloyd Wright building.”

Younger congregants use social media more often, but they span age groups.

One of the web-savviest clergy in all Philly is Marc Manley, a freelance imam who ministers to Muslim communities at local universities, mosques throughout the area, and up and down the East Coast.

“I have two websites, or is it three?” he says, laughing.

Manley offers podcasts of his sermons at Friday prayers, and he makes liberal use of blogs, Twitter and Tumblr.

“Sometimes a sermon will give me an idea for a blog, and sometimes the other way around,” he says. “People download these and carry with them on their iPads or iPhones or whatever. And I hear back, I really hear back.

“I just bought a camera, and I’m considering expanding into video,” he says. “People at the various mosques are after me to do it.”

Manley is such a social-media maven that congregants have given him a nickname someone should have thought of before:

“They call me the iMam.”