Steubenville – When Father Gregory Plow, TOR, was a seminarian, he took up long distance running as a fun hobby. But now, his running shoes are being put to an even better use – raising money for Franciscan University’s neediest students. On July 29, 2017, he’ll be running the 50-mile Burning River Ultra-Marathon in Cuyahoga National Park.
The money Father Gregory is raising will go to the Spirit of St. Francis Scholarship. The scholarship was established so that an education at Franciscan University wouldn’t be limited to students who could afford the tuition. With the help of this scholarship, students with limited resources are able to attend Franciscan and receive a Catholic education. So far, two students have benefited from the tuition assistance.
“Some of these students who receive the Spirit of St. Francis scholarship have either one or both parents who are out of the picture,” Father Gregory explained in a video. “One of the young ladies didn’t have a home that she could call her own before she enrolled here as a freshman.”
Father Gregory is a seasoned runner, and has ran many marathons before – including a 50 mile ultra- marathon. But this time, he’s not running alone. He’ll be joined by Franciscan University alumni, all who were cross-country runners. Franciscan University teachers and coaches, including biology professor Dr. Dan Kuebler and theology professor Dr. Alan Schreck, will be running the 100 mile relay.
In addition to raising money for a great cause, Father Gregory says he also benefits from the prayer time that running offers.
“For me as a priest, I pray while I am running,” he told WTOV news. “Of course I pray in the chapel too, but it’s an opportunity for me to encounter God, especially in nature because a lot of my runs are on trails, and just to be out in God’s creation and run and appreciate all of the gifts He has given in the world and my ability to run.”
You can support Father Gregory and the Spirit of St. Francis Scholarship by visiting his fundraising site. God speed, Father Gregory!