Doing God's work in Second Life
I am a practising Catholic, and a regular Second Life visitor. My halo isn't particularly shiny in either Real or Second Life. I have made a number of very good friends in Second Life from all over the world, including many fellow Britons.
Your commentators often refer to Second Life as Sadville, and I can understand the accusation. I think there are many who are socially inadequate for whom SL enables them to spread their wings, to form friendships, to relate with people in a way which they cannot, or choose not to, do in Real Life.
Amongst my SL friends are two suicidal women - they have 5 attempts between them. I have had an occasion where I was dealing with one of them who had deliberately cut herself, and she and I were sitting in my SL flat for hours talking, partly as our avatars and partly as our real selves, always keeping her talking - she would never have called Samaritans, or even woken her mum who was asleep in the next bedroom. The other girl had a history of violence and abuse from her father, and is psychologically scarred, unable to bear even the slightest physical touch from any man, even one towards whom she is the smitten kitten. Again, there have been times when I've been able to talk, to listen (odd concept, being a good listener in IM) and to counsel.
The Jesuits (I was educated by the Jesuits) have a pragmatic view on how to deal with the needy. They would appear to recognise that, while it is in Africa, and Asia, and South America that physical and material poverty is encountered, there is a terrible spiritual poverty in the materially rich world. I would like to think that their mission to Second Life would be less about gaining converts, and more about ministering to the spiritually impoverished.
A mission to Second Life should be considered as very much secondary to the real life work, vastly, vastly less significant (not least because the population is so relatively small), yet not totally insignificant. Every avatar is a representation and a virtual embodiment of a real person, made in God's likeness. To reflect His love into this virtual world is a good ambition.