- A Catholic priest posted a sign to Pokémon Go players, said they are welcome on church property
- Online community praised him for being open-minded
- Pokémon Go surprisingly received well by priests and pastors
MANILA, Philippines – With the Pokémon Go craze still ongoing, one Catholic priest is receiving praise on social media for his tolerance in letting players search for Pokémon on church grounds — by greeting them with a sign quoting both Mother Teresa and legendary Pokémon Mewtwo.
Originally posted on 9gag, “Father Joe”’s sign greets players who are trying catch Pokémon at an undisclosed church which has been designated as a Pokémon Go Gym. While telling them they are very much welcome, the sign also tells players to be careful and respectful of churchgoers:
“Your Catholic Christian friends at Saint Benedict welcome you to this Pokémon Go Gym. You are always welcome here. Please be respectful of our parishioners and the church property. Thank You and Catch ‘em all!! Come visit us anytime!” — Father Joe.
The sign ends with a quote both from Mewtwo and Mother Teresa:
“It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.” — Mewtwo
“Life is a game, play it.” — Saint Mother Teresa.
A Chance to Connect?
Despite all the conspiracy theories thrown at it, Pokémon and its latest incarnation has been surprisingly well-received by pastors and priests — and with good reason.
According to Fr. David Miloscia, associate pastor of a Catholic church in Missouri, the fad is a golden opportunity to connect with the youth and bring them closer to the Christian faith.
“I talked with some kids last night when they were on the parking lot,” he said. “They were happy the Church was relating to them in this way.”
The Rev. Mark Spaulding, an Episcopalian pastor, agreed.
“When is the last time we have had a literal flood of people onto our parish grounds?” he asked. “The game’s draw has provided a golden opportunity to tell our story, the story of how God loves us and draws us toward peace, justice, and love for all of creation.”