A meal and a drink in Croatia may not cost you anything except for maybe a few Hail Mary’s after a parish opened up a "prayer café" in an effort to bring youths back to church.
Catholic News Service reports Salesian Fr Damir Stojic thought up the scheme to keep the kids from going to other cafés after church and come together for a meal after Eucharist.
" In the Acts of the Apostles, it says the disciples used to come together for a meal after the Eucharist, so we’re following a biblical ideal," Fr Stojic said.
"A lot of kids used to head for neighbouring cafes after Mass here. We came up with this scheme for persuading them to hang out at the church instead."
The Jedno (Sail) cafe opened recently in a parish hall adjoining Zagreb’s Holy Spirit Church and attracts many of the students and young people attending the regular Sunday youth Mass.
"Student helpers thought up the idea of paying with prayers. We have encouraged parents to donate food and drink for the café," he said.
"Jedno could be seen as continuing a tradition since most Salesian parishes worldwide ran cafes at their churches."
Prices at Jedno vary from three Our Fathers for a standard cup of coffee to a more expensive Coca-Cola (five Hail Marys and a Glory Be), while a cappuccino costs four Our Fathers.
His post continues with advice on a number of subjects common to the confessional.
Great idea, but what happens when inflation sets in. I can imagine people complaining in later years "I remember when a cappuccino cost just four Our Fathers and now you have to whip out a mystery of the Rosary and five Glory Be’s."