Archbishop invites champions to lunch

April 26, 2012


Archbishop John Nienstedt’s residence was abuzz with activity this week, as two local Catholic high schools sent groups of students there for lunch.

First, there was the Benilde-St. Margaret’s varsity boys hockey team, which won the Class AA title last month. They arrived Monday for Mass and lunch. I stopped by briefly for a photo shoot of the players and coaches with Archbishop Nienstedt. There were smiles all around, and it looked like everyone enjoyed the event.

Then, just this afternoon, it was DeLaSalle High School’s turn. The school sent not one, but two teams – the varsity boys and varsity girls basketball teams, both of which captured Class AAA championships. Things got a little crowded on the steps on the back side of the archbishop’s residence when it came time for a group photo. But, we managed to squeeze everybody in, even the student managers.

I think having the championship teams over for Mass and lunch is a great idea. Hats off to Archbishop Nienstedt for thinking of it. Not sure if Archbishop Flynn ever did it. If he did, I was not aware of it. I got to witness all three teams win their respective championship games, so it was fun to see them celebrate with the archbishop.

I did not attend the Masses, but I found myself very curious what Archbishop Nienstedt talked about in his homily. Vocations, perhaps? I think it would be great to see someone from a successful sports team pursue a religious vocation. That could help open doors of communication to many more student-athletes.

A grade-school classmate of mine, Kelly Scott, has a son who played for DeLaSalle. Kelly told me that after one of the state tournament games, his son, Luke, went to a eucharistic adoration chapel that night.

I’ll bet the archbishop would be pleased to know this – and see more Catholic high school athletes do the same.


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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

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