Many imagine joining the priesthood involves detaching oneself from society and entering a life of solitude and prayer.
Monastic life might be similar, but not life at Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts.
According to its website, the Bostonian seminary currently houses 95 seminarians. Founded in 1884, the seminary has no trouble keeping up with the times. In fact, for the past few years, they’ve had a budding basketball team. Recently, Saint John’s Seminary, along with the Archdiocese of Boston, released a documentary, Souls in the Game, which you can watch here.
Christ in the Court
You may not expect a sports team in a seminary, but the young men have found fraternity through sportsmanship. While many of the players have never played the game before—some have never even played a team sport—the team shows spirit and comradery.
In the short documentary, Fr. Peter Schirripa describes his journey with the team as “more than the wood of the court.” He states, “Basketball also served as the catalyst for the current men’s apostolate in my parish. Sports reveal a big part of our humanity and teach us what really matters.”
Deacon Marcelo Ferrari, co-captain of the team, is due to be ordained to the priesthood in May of 2024. He says, “We are excited to show a youthful church on fire with faith. By coming to the basketball tournament, you get to see this bright future of the Church. There’s a lot of young men living the joy of the Gospel and following Christ.”
In the documentary, you can see the witness these young men bring as they pray together and share joy and sorrow throughout their journey. It’s as sportsmanship should be: supportive, honest, virtuous, and God-centered.
Revival in the Seminary
While most of the world seems to be turning further and further from faith, we can take heart looking to our seminarians with hope. More young people are turning to Christ lately and the revival is ongoing. We may have expected sports to play a role in evangelization, but Saint John’s seminarians are using their experience to bring Christ to the community around them.
As their story gets out, we continue to pray for more vocations and a return to the faith for our society. Who knew basketball courts could play a role in filling our seminaries or the pews in our parishes? God works in many mysterious ways, and this is one of the ways we can all cheer for.
Featured Image: Youtube (screenshot).