Baseball Game to Promote Vocations Awareness is a Hit
September 05, 2011
The DC Padres baseball team, comprised of priests and seminarians, has won their inaugural game! Over 700 tickets were sold for the matchup at the Bowie Baysox Stadium on Sunday September 4, 2011 against the Bowie All Stars. Many in the crowd came with homemade t-shirts and banners in support of the priests and seminarians.
The team is made up of eleven Catholic priests and seminarians: Father Larry Young, pastor of Our Lady’s Church in Leonardtown; Father Larry Swink, pastor of Jesus the Divine Word in Huntingtown; Father David Wells, parochial vicar at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Lexington Park; Father Jose Raul De Leon, parochial vicar at Our Lady of Sorrows in Takoma Park. Six seminarians from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary also participated: Shaun Foggo, Kevin Dansereau, Noah Morey, Adam Cesarek, Matthew Hoelscher, and Stephen Jagla. Rounding out the DC Padres’ lineup is Father Andrew Fisher, pastor of St. Ambrose in Annandale in the Diocese of Arlington. Of the 11 men who played in the game, nine of them played college baseball. The Bowie All Stars were made up of local high school and college-aged players from the Bowie area.
“That’s the most fun I’ve had in a long time, and maybe ever,” wrote Father Larry Young after the game. “Loved all the base stealing too. Felt like we were in the movie ‘Field of Dreams’ out there and we were all apparitions of ourselves from the past.”
Father Young drove in seminarian Shaun Foggo in the bottom of the last inning with a walk off single to win the game. “I had already struck out earlier, and was determined not to do so that time, so I made up my mind to swing at the next pitch no matter where it was,” wrote Fr. Young. “It was practically over my head based on where the catcher is holding his glove.” The DC Padres beat the Bowie All Stars 5-4.
During the “third inning stretch,” Fr. Carter Griffin, vocations director for the Archdiocese of Washington and vice rector of the new Blessed John Paul II Seminary, spoke to the crowd about vocations to the priesthood. “Serving souls is demanding work but incredibly rewarding, and we are always looking for young men who may be called to this beautiful vocation.” Fr. Dave Wells (originally from Bowie) and Mount St. Mary’s seminarian Shaun Foggo (from Hyattsville) also spoke during the third inning stretch.
Another DC Padres baseball game is in the works, possibly next month. Organizers hope that this initiative continues and develops into a cycle of about three games a year.
The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 600,000 Catholics living in Washington, DC and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.
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