BY STAFF REPORTER
THEY DRESS in black. They are named after elite assassins. But if you find a "Spirit Ninja" in your garden with a rake there is no need to call the police.
The Spirit Ninjas are a band of young American Catholics from Schererville, Indiana, who have found a novel way of serving their neighbours. The ninjas rake the gardens of elderly and disabled neighbours, leaving behind a calling card stating: "You have been raked by the Spirit Ninjas." The ninjas are the brainchild of 22-year-old Tim Pawl, who came up with the idea at last year's World Youth Day in Toronto. "He thought it would be cool to dress as ninjas and rake random leaves in the middle of the night," said Brian Dolder, a 17-year-old member.
"Eventually we came up with the name Spirit Ninjas — ninjas as of the Holy Spirit," he told the Northwest Indiana Catholic, newspaper. "Cheesy, but it has the mysterious touch to it."
Mr Pawl explained that the name Spirit Ninjas referred to the Holy Spirit, "the one who gives us the gifts, the fruits of the Spirit". "The word ninjas just adds a little mystery," he explained "Raking, snow shovelling, even dishes washed — I'd be able to do it. Anything to help someone who can't help themselves."
Anyone can join, Mr Dolder said, or start Spirit Ninjas branches in their own countries.
"It would be great to spread the Spirit Ninjas all over," he said.