As a graduate of St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, Class of ’74, I can be forgiven for a Notre Dame entry on the eve (almost) of the National Championship game on Monday night against Alabama. There is a fascinating article in the National Catholic Register about the traditions surrounding Notre Dame football game days that are most likely unique in the sports world today.
First, the whole team attends Mass together at Sacred Heart Basilica, including coaches. At the conclusion of Mass, they recite the Litany to the Blessed Virgin Mary and a relic of the True Cross is venerated. Then blessed medals of saints are distributed and the relevance of the saint for the day is expounded. In the locker room before a game, an Our Father is prayed and Our Lady of Victory is invoked. The whole team is then blessed.
Fr. Paul Doyle, CSC, says that he tries not to give repeat medals to a player during their 4 year stay at Notre Dame. He says that while the team is less than 50% Catholic, the players tend to cherish the medals. In this Year of Faith,
Also, look for an ad during the game produced by Catholics Come Home that features Lou Holtz, ND head coach from 1986-1996.
May all the players play to the best of their abilities on 1/7/13. And may they be protected from harm. But Go Irish.