"We gather in faith..."

Teaching and commentary from our pastor, Bishop Francis J. Christian


I read recently in AMERICA magazine of an

incident which illustrates well what lived faith is

Jesus is about. I pass it along to you for your

consideration. It happened some time ago on a

playing field in Indianapolis. The junior varsity girls’

softball team from Roncalli Catholic High was set to

play Marshall Community, an inner city middle

school playing its first softball game ever. After nine

Roncalli girls were walked by the Marshall pitcher,

the girls realized there is more to sports than

crushing the opponent. They probably could have

won 100 to 0. Ronaclli had not lost a game in over

two years but decided to offer to forfeit the game

rather than humiliate the Marshall girls. What

happened next? The Roncalli team spent the next two

hours teaching the Marshall girls how to get better

instead of beaten. Together they practiced batting

and fielding, running bases and how to use the

equipment the Roncali girls shared with them.

Marshall had come with only two bats, no helmets,

no cleats and five balls. Even after the game, this

spirit continued. Roncalli’s s JV coach, Jeff Taylor

appealed to the parents of his girls for equipment for

Marshall – used bats, gloves, helmets and team

shirts. Reebok and the Cincinnati Reds also

contributed to assist the Marshall girls. Instead of an

embarrassing blowout victory for Roncalli, the loss

became a win for everyone. St. Pope John XXIII,

after whom Roncalli Catholic is named, once

remarked that he especially enjoyed being with

children because they did not take him to be a pope

with fancy robes, but simply an old man. I am sure

he looked down with smiles upon the childlike spirit

and friendliness of the two softball teams that day.