Football Player: “Maybe the coolest thing I’ve ever been a part of was a Latin Mass in London.”

Since I am a displaced Minnesotan, a reader thought that this bit of news might be of interest.

NCReg has an interview a player on Minnesota Vikings, Kevin McDermott, both a mackeral-snapper and a long-snapper.

Here is the bit that caught my eye:

Q: How does the Catholic Church help you the most?

McDermott: What gives me the most strength and security is being a part of the routines and rituals of the Church. I realized in high school, partially due to a retreat in my junior year, how dependent I was on a regular schedule that included Sunday Mass. Then, as pro football became more and more of a real-life possibility, I was determined to keep up a schedule based on traditional spirituality.
I wanted to do well in football, for sure, but football was not going to get in the way of being a good Catholic. Every week for me in the NFL — whether that was preseason, regular season or postseason — has also included a Sunday Mass, which, most of the time, has been done the evening before games.
Maybe the coolest thing I’ve ever been a part of was a Latin Mass in London. The 49ers were over there in 2013 for a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the priest made available to the team only did Latin Masses. Usually, people associate traditional Masses like that with beautiful cathedrals — something I’ve experienced as an altar boy in Nashville — but this time, it was in a conference room of a hotel.
Despite the plain surroundings, or maybe even because of them, I was so enthralled and moved by what was happening. It was an ordinary situation made quite extraordinary through the beautiful gift of the Latin Mass. Being a part of that with my teammates was unexpected and much appreciated.

Do I hear an “Amen!”?

Read the whole interview over there.

This part was good, too:

I pray Hail Marys while we’re on offense, so it can be said that all of our passes are Hail Mary passes. The Hail Mary is a prayer for any place or time, but two of the benefits of praying it during games are being reminded of how blessed I am that my job is playing a game and keeping my mind engaged in a routine. …

Being a good Catholic is more important than being a good football player, but you can be both.

I think the Vikings play the Seahawks tomorrow, Sunday.

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15 Responses to Football Player: “Maybe the coolest thing I’ve ever been a part of was a Latin Mass in London.”

  1. Eric says:

    I must have said 100 Hail Marys in the last hour and the Bengals still manged to lose.

  2. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Eric,

    Are you suggesting that prayer is impotent, pointless? Perhaps you mean that because God hates Cincinnati he can’t really be God? What about human free will? Could the Bengals not mess up what God provided?

  3. Kathleen10 says:

    Eric, lol.
    I wish I was so articulate as to give such a beautiful explanation of spiritual devotion. That was really something.

  4. Matt R says:

    Huh. I wonder which priest this was… There are no Ecclesia Dei Masses in Greater London; the FSSP was in Reading, but they have moved the house to another diocese. So I’m curious as to the identity of this mystery priest (it is possible he is diocesan or even a religious order but has permission to only use Latin/the older missal due to the nature of his assignment).

    At any rate, good interview.

  5. Adaquano says:

    Good interview, I would like to see more outlets reach out to Catholic ballplayers for statements. I know Philip Rivers is devout and has spoken pubicly regarding the Church’s teaching on contraception. I live in Baltimore and know that John Harbaugh has a priest that says Mass on the road and is speaking at the archdiocese’s men’s conference. His kicker Justin Tucker isn’t too shy to speak about his faith as well.

  6. Auggie says:

    For a while, the Vikings had a quarterback named Christian Ponder… a good name for a monk, perhaps, but monks rarely survive the Men of the North. Perhaps if McDermott converts the whole team, it will be time to Ponder again… although to have a Bridge over the Water is also a good thing, especially if it crosses the Tiber.

  7. SanSan says:

    Amen!

  8. robtbrown says:

    Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Are you suggesting that prayer is impotent, pointless? Perhaps you mean that because God hates Cincinnati he can’t really be God? What about human free will? Could the Bengals not mess up what God provided?

    In matters concerning why bad penalties happen to stupid people, it may be that fasting also must be involved.

  9. Lepidus says:

    The Catholic Church might allow former Anglicans to keeps their rites while entering into full communion. However, Wisconsinites do not take kindly to people living in the state posting pictures of “that team” during the playoffs….

  10. Militans says:

    “There are no Ecclesia Dei Masses in Greater London; the FSSP was in Reading, but they have moved the house to another diocese”

    I was going to say that there are plenty of EF masses in London, but I now understand you mean exclusively old rite priests.

    The FSSP are staying in Reading, but the superior of the English Apostolate (Fr Armand de Malleray) has moved to Warrington to establish a new community. They will own this church and the priory – in Reading they own a house but only have use of the church.

  11. Matt R says:

    Yes, Militans. I referred to their being under the auspices of the PCED. Thanks for the clarification!

  12. Facta Non Verba says:

    And, the Vikings return to usual form and blow it on the last play in a very winnable situation. But, as a fan, I am used to this.

  13. robtbrown says:

    The Brompton Oratory has a daily EF mass.

  14. Jack007 says:

    Perhaps an SSPX priest? Its not like the whoever was in charge of providing for religious services was an expert as to “who’s in or out”.
    Definitely would love to know the details…but its been so long ago.
    The takeaway here is the powerful witness of this athlete.
    Great story!

  15. Matt Robare says:

    Last year Cincinnatti was playing New England and a priest from my parish, St Paul’s in Harvard Sq, was asked to come to their hotel and say Mass for them. He did and later that afternoon the Patriots destroyed the Bengals. For the next couple weeks whenever we say that priest we Patriots fans would go and congratulate him on the good job he did.