Oddly Enough

Polish church uses TV motto to lure young

WARSAW (Reuters) - A Roman Catholic order in Poland has started to advertise its religious retreats by using the motto of a popular TV programme “I’ve Got Talent.”

The order Salvatoris, established in Poland in the late 19th century, has devised a poster that reads “I’ve got talent -- I can be a saint!,” in an echo of the programme’s catchword, in order to lure more young people to the religious life.

“I’ve Got Talent,” like its UK counterpart “Britain’s Got talent,” presents previously unknown acts who compete against each other for audience support.

“We used the slogan bearing in mind how popular the programme is,” Damian Pankowiak, the priest responsible for religious vocations at the order, told Reuters.

“We wanted to show that the church is not a boring, sad place, that young people can have a nice time among monks.”

The priest said the feedback after the poster had been published on the order’s website was immediate.

“People from various places are contacting us and asking about retreats,” Pankowiak said. “The group is already full.”

Poland remains one of the most devoutly Roman Catholic countries in Europe and churches are packed on Sundays but the number of vocations has declined in recent years, prompting the church to use unconventional methods to attract the young.

Writing by Dagmara Leszkowicz; Editing by Steve Addison