Twins making Sunday Mass available for teams and staff

| April 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

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Celebrating Mass in the press conference room at Target Field in Minneapolis April 17, Father Nels Gjengdahl preached about prayer to the 30-to-40 people at a pre-game liturgy before the Minnesota Twins took on the Los Angeles Angels.

Ballplayers and coaches from the Angels and members of the Twins front office and stadium staff attended the first of what is planned to be a regular Mass on Sundays when the Twins have a home game. Twins players and coaches were not notified in time to attend.

“I just preached what I would have preached at any parish,” said Father Gjengdahl, who is a teacher and chaplain at St. Thomas Academy in suburban Mendota Heights. “Since the Gospel was about the Good Shepherd, I talked about taking time out to listen to Christ because he is the Good Shepherd. Through all the busyness and hubbub of life, I said, we need to listen to what the Good Shepherd has to say to our souls.”

Father Gjengdahl said that after he celebrated a pre-game Mass last August for Oakland Raiders football team when they were in town to play the Minnesota Vikings, his name apparently got on a list that Catholic Athletes for Christ was compiling of potential celebrants for Masses at Target Field. A rotation of priests of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will be presiding at the ballpark liturgies, said Eileen Bock, a project manager with the archdiocese who as a volunteer with CAC serves as a liaison for the group with the ball team.

CAC_Logo_Color_TM1Ray McKenna, CAC president, said the 11-year-old organization was elated to add the Twins to the two dozen other Major League Baseball teams that have made Mass available on Sunday game days, helping the Alexandria, Virginia-based nonprofit fulfill its mission “to help Catholic athletes practice their faith in-season and out-of-season,” McKenna said.

“So often because of the rigors of the schedule,” he said, “Catholic athletes aren’t able to get to Mass. What we find, too, and it happened again Sunday in Minneapolis, is that many of the people at Mass were stadium workers who [had to be at the ballpark early and] weren’t able to get to Mass at their parish.”

McKenna credited Twins president Dave St. Peter and general manager Terry Ryan, who were at the April 17 liturgy, for helping to make Mass at Target Field possible, and gave a nod, too, to Bock for her liaison efforts.

Along with professional baseball and football, CAC serves other professional sports, plus Olympic, college and high school athletes.

Legendary Los Angeles Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully, who is a reader for CAC Masses held at Dodger Stadium, has recorded the telephone message for Catholic Athletes for Christ headquarters, and McKenna said Scully is recording a reading of the mysteries of the rosary that will be available on iTunes soon.




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Category: Local News