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Wednesday, 27 June, 2001, 19:37 GMT 20:37 UK
Church order advertises for members
Cardinal Winning's coffin
Advertising was kept low key after the Cardinal's death
A small Catholic order of priests has turned to advertising in a bid to boost declining numbers.

The Passionist Order has been targeting young men in the Glasgow area with bus shelter posters and radio advertisements since the start of the month.

But the campaign was deliberately given a low profile after the death of Cardinal Thomas Winning.

The order has been working in Scotland since the 1850s but recently its membership has fallen to just 10 priests.

St Paul of the Cross
The order was established by St Paul of the Cross
Passionists are dedicated to the love of God shown in the Passion of Jesus - the account of Christ's crucifixion - and regularly preach and host retreats.

Father Paul Francis Spencer, from the order's St Mungo Retreat in Glasgow, said: "We have very few members in Scotland and, like many orders, we have contracted over the years.

"We hope this advertising campaign will raise awareness of the Passionists and it will be wonderful if we get some new recruits."

Father Spencer, who has been a priest for 21 years, added: "It is a very modern advertising campaign and it should appeal to young people.

"With so many options open to people today the priesthood may not seem attractive but there are some who seek a different way of life."

Recruitment drive

The campaign, which is running until 2 July, will target young men from Catholic schools.

The order launched a similar recruitment drive in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, where it has 100 priests, in May.

Worldwide the Passionists have 2,700 priests and brothers working in 55 countries.

The order was established in 1725 by St Paul of the Cross, who was canonised by Pope Pius IX on 29 June, 1867.

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See also:

25 Jun 01 | Scotland
Bishop's tribute to 'church's man'
25 Jun 01 | Scotland
Picture gallery: Cardinal's funeral
25 Jun 01 | Scotland
Cardinal's people say goodbye
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