The SSPX seminary for the USA is found in the southern part of my native Minnesota, … hockey is just plain normal.
A thoughtful reader alerted me to this story from the Winona Daily News for your “Just Too Cool” files.
Priests, seminarians renew rivalry of ‘The Game’
By JAKE WANEK / firstname.lastname@example.org winonadailynews.com
When nearly 200 priests and seminarians get together, an ice rink isn’t the most logical meeting place. But once a year in Winona, that’s exactly what takes place. In what is simply known as “The Game,” seminarians from St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona take on the priests from across the United States and Canada who studied at the very same institution. [It would be far better where this to be extended to all priests and seminarians, if you know what I mean. Still, it is great that they have this intra-squad game.]
It all happens at Bud King Ice Arena and is radically different from any high school, college or youth game that usually occupies the ice.
Let me tell you, it is a hockey game unlike any other. I witnessed “The Game” on Wednesday at Bud King Ice Arena and it left me, well, smiling.
“The game is pretty well known throughout our society of priests,” said Father Arnaud Rostand, who is stationed in Kansas City.
Every February, priests are summoned to Winona for annual meetings.
Back in 1988, Father Charles Ward wanted to add something extra to the meetings and came up with an idea that has turned into a tradition.
Ward decided to start an annual hockey game between the priests and the seminarians.
After arranging it with the District Superior, his dream came to fruition.
“The seminary was originally based in Richfield, Conn., and a lot of the seminarians out there played hockey,” said Ward, who now is stationed in Los Angeles. “When we moved here we found a way to keep playing.”
While some priests — their team is known as the “Flyin’ Fathers” — wear traditional hockey equipment, many are on the ice in their robes. Yes, robes. Let your mind wander free for a moment and imagine that. [Indeed. I think that is entirely daft, but... I wasn't invited.]
Robes are not likely going to turn into the latest hockey uniform craze, but hey, that’s not what this is all about.
It’s about fun, although both teams play to win. [To WIN. None of your political correctness here. Do keep in mind, however, that St. Thomas Aquinas explains how play is very like prayer and worship of God: they both are done for their own sake.]
That’s the essence. You can read the rest over there.