Dwindling Swiss Catholic order seeks highfliers as monks

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Franciscan monks in Switzerland have launched a recruitment drive aiming to woo high-flying young professionals into a life free from temptation with the promise of no money or fame.

"We are looking for one or several bankers, journalists, theologians, salesmen, lawyers and communications professionals," the job advertisement placed in several quality newspapers said, promising a "lifelong job, full time".

"We offer you no pay, but spirituality and prayer, contemplation, an egalitarian lifestyle, free of personal material riches and the common model" of a relationship built around the couple, it added.

The 500-year-old order is targeting educated 22 to 35-year-old single, Roman Catholic men to replenish the dwindling community in Switzerland -- whose monks have an average age of 70.

"We have to do something against this painful decline," Zurich-based Friar superior Willi Anderau told the Swiss news agency ATS on Monday.

The adverts, promising engagement for the poor and infirm, appeared under the banking and insurance section of the jobs supplement published in several Swiss German newspapers over the weekend.

© 2010 AFP

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