“A Hit For Vocations” – Priest Softball Game on Friday

Mark Haas

For cars driving on Federal Blvd. in Broomfield last Friday afternoon, they may have noticed a group of men having a softball practice at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Pretty much just your everyday adult rec-league softball team, except this team, is made up entirely of Catholic priests.

“I love playing sports, I grew up playing sports,” said Fr. Joe McLagan, chaplain from Holy Family High School. “All of us are brother priests and one thing we have in common is we enjoy sports, so we get on the field and have a good time.”

Fr. Joe McLagan / Holy Family

The priests are all from the Archdiocese of Denver, and they are preparing to take on a team of priests from the Colorado Springs and Pueblo dioceses on Friday, July 13 at the Sky Sox minor league baseball stadium in Colorado Springs.

“I think it will be fun, and maybe even more fun for people to watch,” said Fr. Jason Wunsch of St. Gianna Beretta Molla in Denver. “Fun for them to see their priests having a good time playing softball and see that they are human.”

Fr. Jason Wunsch / St. Gianna Beretta Molla

The game is being put on by the Catholic Radio Network and was inspired by a similar game in Kansas City.

“It as all about FUN, FAMILIES & VOCATIONS,” said Doug Moberg, Director of Catholic Radio in Colorado, in an email to the Denver Catholic. “You’re going to laugh, you’re going to smile and you’re going to see a lot of priests try to do things they don’t do every day, which is a lot of fun!”

Fr. Mike Rapp

Tickets are just $10 and proceeds support vocational departments in Colorado, and the hope is maybe the Holy Spirit will move someone to think about the priesthood in a new way.

“I think it is to see that priests are normal, that to have a vocation doesn’t mean that you end up locked away,” said Fr. Joseph Toledo from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Ft. Collins, and coach for the ArchDen team. “We play sports, we play golf, we play baseball and we are part of the community.”

Fr. Chris Uhl / Holy Ghost

“I think younger kids watching us priests play might say ‘I like sports, and they like sports, and they are priests, which means I can be myself and also still be a priest,” said Fr. Jason. “They are having a fun life, doing fun things, they have good brotherhood’…I think that could be more attractive to the younger kids.”

EVENT INFO
-Colorado Priests Softball Game
-7 pm – Friday, July 13
-Security Service (Sky Sox) Field
4385 Tutt Boulevard, Colorado Springs, CO
-Tickets: $10 General Admission (Kids under 3 Free)
https://priestsoftballgame.ticketspice.com/priest-softball-game

COMING UP: Catholic Baby University prepares parents for the real deal

Sign up for a digital subscription to Denver Catholic!

Heidi and Jim Knous had no idea that something like a Catholic childbirth education existed. But not long after finding out the great news that they were expecting their first child, Brady, they came across an article in the Denver Catholic introducing Catholic Baby University — a program designed to teach expecting parents the nuts and bolts of both childbirth and Catholicism.

“I think it’s special because it gives you an opportunity to step back from all the registries and baby shower… and to really take time to come together as a couple to think about this vocation, what parenthood is … and how you want that to look for your family,” Heidi said.

“I think there’s a lot of distractions when you’re about to have a child,” Jim added. “Everybody knows it’s going to be tough and you’re going through a lot. Everybody’s trying to tell you, ‘You should do this, you should do that.’ But Catholic Baby U really gives you a solid understanding of what having a child is going to be like and includes the values that we learned as a family in raising a baby in the Catholic faith.”

Jim and Heidi Knous and their son Brady, are parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Denver. (Photo provided)

 

The Catholic Baby University holistic program for parents — offered both as a weekend retreat or a six-class series — is the result of the partnership between Rose Medical Center and the Archdiocese of Denver and was inspired by the previously-founded Jewish Baby University.

The classes touch on topics dealing with childbirth instruction, postpartum experience, baby safety and the Catholic faith — and they are taught and facilitated by certified birth and safety instructors, mental health professionals, and members from the Office of Evangelization and Family Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver.

“Statistically, people become more religiously involved when they have children, so we want to respond to people’s desires to reengage their faith with the coming of their child,” said Scott Elmer, Director of the Office of Evangelization and Family Life Ministries of the Archdiocese of Denver and also a facilitator of the program, in a previous interview. “We want to be there to welcome them, celebrate the new life, and give them the tools they need to incorporate God into their home life.”

For Jim and Heidi, who are parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, the experience of having both the childbirth and Catholic aspects in this preparation did not disappoint, as they learned from each one.

“It was a great opportunity to come back and think about things from a basic level again and how to bring our child into the faith — things that you haven’t necessarily thought of or how you would teach a child something, [like praying],” Heidi said.

“Something we learned [that really made me reflect] was that the bond between me and Brady and between Heidi and Brady are very different. It happens at very different times,” Jim shared. “Right away when Heidi finds out she’s pregnant, then her bonding with Brady already starts all the way until Brady’s born. As a dad, it doesn’t start until he is born and I’m actually holding him.”

Heidi assured the concept of “gatekeeping” also helped them prepare for parenting better.

“[Gatekeeping] is when, as a mom, you get really wrapped up in, ‘Only I know how to change baby diapers, only I know how to feed the baby, only I know how to do this,’” Heidi explained. “And I am someone who I could’ve seen thinking that I could be the only person that knew how to take care of [my child]. But gaining that understanding helped us co-parent a lot easier from the very beginning because I was aware of it.”

“I would tell [expecting couples] that Catholic Baby University is a great place to start, to gain community, to meet other people that are in a similar place that you are in; having people in the same room who are just as excited, just as terrified who also want to learn,” Heidi concluded. “It’s just a really awesome opportunity to take advantage of.”