Troy priest is encouraging Pokemon players to stop at his church

Posted: 10:28 PM, Aug 01, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-01 22:28:53-04

A local church is using Pokemon Go to help lure in new members.

St. Anastasia Catholic Church in Troy happens to be a Pokemon hunting ground in the virtual game.

The priest, Father Steven Wertanen noticed an increase in traffic in his parking lot, but wasn’t sure what was prompting it.

"I thought what's going on around here, and as I would get closer, they would take off,” said Wertanen.

He soon found out about Pokemon Go and the virtual site that happened to coincide with the church parking lot.

He decided to embrace it, making a large wooden Pikachu and handing out buttons to the kids, along with talking to people and spreading his message.

"I don't push it too much, but I say I'm Father Steve, God bless you. I've had people that I've prayed with because they been here, people who say I'm Catholic, but I haven't been to church in a while maybe I'll come back,” said Wertanen.

He said he even met someone who plans to convert to Catholicism.

He said he thinks it’s all in good fun, just a way to help be a part of the community.

"I feel like I'm planting a lot of little seeds. I might not see a whole lot of it now, but I feel like we're planting seeds."

St. Anastasia is at 4571 John R Rd. in Troy.