Speaking to men’s group, Birk focuses on marriage

| July 10, 2015 | 0 Comments
Matt Birk, center, greets Brian Gibson, left, executive director of Pro-Life Action Ministries, and Rich Chapman of St. John Neumann in Eagan at St. Paul's Outreach Men on a Mission event July 10 at Embassy Suites in Bloomington. Birk and Chapman co-authored a book called "All-Pro Wisdom: The Seven Choices That Lead to Greatness" that was published in 2014. For more information about the book and to order, visit allprowisdom.com. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Matt Birk, center, greets Brian Gibson, left, executive director of Pro-Life Action Ministries, and Rich Chapman of St. John Neumann in Eagan at St. Paul’s Outreach Men on a Mission event July 10 at Embassy Suites in Bloomington. Birk and Chapman co-authored a book called “All-Pro Wisdom: The Seven Choices That Lead to Greatness” that was published in 2014. For more information about the book and to order, visit allprowisdom.com. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Former NFL player and St. Paul native Matt Birk was in town to speak at a St. Paul’s Outreach Men on a Mission event July 10 at Embassy Suites in Bloomington. He is in town for a vacation before heading back to New York City where he now lives with his wife and six children.

The Birks moved to New York when Matt took an administrative job with the NFL after retiring as a player in 2013. The former Minnesota Viking ended his career with the Baltimore Ravens, and was the starting center on the Ravens’ Super Bowl championship team in 2013.

Birk spent a good portion of his time at the podium talking about marriage and the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage across the country. He encouraged the men, saying that this decision gives Catholics, including himself, a “tremendous opportunity” to talk about the value of marriage between a man and a woman.

“It’s very, very important that we be able to articulate and defend the Church’s position,” said Birk, who noted that his NFL office is located one block from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City and that he attends Mass there regularly. “The truth is on our side.”

He also talked about what it’s like to work for the NFL, and said that pro football is fertile ground for sharing the faith.

“That’s exciting,” said Birk, who turns 39 on July 23. “I know what our league is about, and I know what our game is about.”

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