ROCKVILLE CENTRE – April 27, 2018 – A new book called Apostolic Athletes, contains essays by 11 priests and bishops on how their involvement with sports influenced their call to the priesthood. Bishop Barres contributed an essay on how his athletic experiences shaped his life and how they continue to have a profound impact on his ministry.
“Most people see priests and bishops in the context of liturgical functions, so it seems unusual to them that priests and bishops would have any kind of life outside of that,” said Trent Beattie, the compiler of the book. “Obviously, worship takes precedence over other things, but those other things are still there. I hope that young men will find this appealing, since they may have an idea that ordination would mean the end of any kind of recreation,” added Beattie.
The stories contained in Apostolic Athletes are part faith story, part sports story and, ultimately, the story of how each one of the authors felt God’s call to ordained ministry. What the chapters make clear is that a vocation begins as a small voice and, over time, spills over into all parts of life, including sports.
Apostolic Athletes is the fifth book Beattie has worked on. His previous book, Fit for Heaven (published in 2015 by Dynamic Catholic) was about how the Catholic faith influenced high-level athletes, such as former New York Yankees’ All-Star Mark Teixeira, L.A. Chargers’ Pro Bowl quarterback Phillip Rivers and former Major League Soccer All-Star Eddie Gaven. Through their stories he showed that faith can have a major impact on the lives of top sports figures.
In Apostolic Athletes, the reader can see how each man profiled struggled with his calling, his faith and all the issues young people deal with today.
At the end of his chapter, Bishop Barres summarizes the common thread that runs through all of the stories — that God can work through everything, including sports, to share His love.
“Put Christ at the center of your basketball experience,” said Bishop Barres. “Play basketball for the glory of God. Be Christ-driven and glory-of-God driven on the court, rather than ego-driven, and our Lord will take your experience of the game of basketball to a whole other beautiful and inspirational level that will impact your destiny and future contributions to the Church and the world.”
In addition to Bishop Barres’ chapter, Apostolic Athletes features the following clergy:
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, bishop, Diocese of Springfield; Father Kevin Drew, Father Karl Marsolle, FSSP, Father Chase Hilgenbrinck, Father David Wells, Father Joseph Freedy, Father Richard Rocha, Father Alan Benander, O. Praem, Father Gabriel Lickteig and Father Thomas Haan.
Apostolic Athletes is available for $14.95 at www.shopmercy.org.
About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre (www.drvc.org) was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1,524,639 baptized Catholics* (total population in both counties is approximately 2.9 million). There are 133 parishes plus 1 campus parish in 115 towns. In 2016, 17,114 baptisms, 14,026 confirmations, 14,626 First Holy Communions and 3,134 marriages took place in the diocese. There are 14,708 students in Catholic elementary schools; 11,642 students in Catholic high schools and 3,425 students in higher institutions. There are 47 Catholic elementary schools (43 parish or regional and 4 private), 10 high schools (3 diocesan, 2 parish and 5 private) and one Catholic college (Molloy College, Rockville Centre) in the diocese. In 2017, there are 115,000 children in parish Faith Formation programs taught by 12,000 volunteer catechists. The diocesan School of Missionary Disciples has 175 participants. In 2017, more than 3,215 families gave witness to a committal service at 3 diocesan and 20 parish cemeteries. Several hundred families also acted in faith of the resurrection with choosing a selection of graves, crypts and cremation niche spaces as well as memorials for their family’s future in our diocesan sacred grounds. Catholic Health Services (CHS) of Long Island is comprised of six hospitals, three health care centers, four homes for the aged, a regional home care and hospice network, and a community-based agency for persons with special needs. More than 17,500 employees and 4,600 credentialed physicians work within the CHS system. Catholic Charities provides Care With Dignity…Life With Hope to the poor, isolated, vulnerable, and disadvantaged on Long Island. Since its founding in 1957, the agency has grown to a position of leadership as one of the largest human service providers in the region with services that include: mental health care, chemical dependency treatment, veterans services, maternity services, food and nutrition services, immigration services, health insurance enrollment, senior services, affordable housing for seniors, services for people with physical and developmental disabilities, or a combination of these. In 2016, more than 600 staff members and 400 volunteers provided nearly 1.5 million face-to-face services to 55,955 people of all faiths and backgrounds from 60 service sites in Nassau and Suffolk counties. The single largest outreach to the People of God on Long Island is through the diocesan media outlets. The diocese maintains vibrant Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms. Telecare, the diocesan television station broadcasts 24/7/365 to over 1.5 million homes; The Long Island Catholic Magazine, the official diocesan print publication is mailed 10 times per year to over 12,000 subscribers; the weekly LICatholic E-newsletter is emailed to 8,000 recipients. The diocesan website drvc.org averages approximately 18,000 unique visitors each month; Fe Fuerza Vida, the official Diocesan Spanish-language newspaper has a circulation of 11,000 and is printed ten times each year. (10/17) *As of 2016