Saturday, November 22, 2008

"It Was Then"

Thursday's Washington Post carried an interesting article headlined "Faith-Based Initiative." It's about Chase Hilgenbrinck, a Major League Soccer player who retired from the sport to enter the seminary for the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois.

The Post was actually playing a bit of catch up -- looks like Fox News had this story some months ago. Fr. Aquinas blogged about Hilgenbrinck in July, too.

What struck me in the Post article was the importance of Hilgenbrinck's college Catholic campus ministry experience in his faith journey:

It wasn't only his soccer career that took off at Clemson. Being on his own for the first time, Hilgenbrinck discovered new depths to his Catholicism. He became actively involved in the Catholic student organization. As a freshman, Hilgenbrinck volunteered to lead his teammates in a prayer before each game.

"I grew up Catholic, but it was an inherited faith," he said. "I believed because my parents believed. . . . It was [at Clemson] that I didn't have to be there [at church]. I didn't have to believe anything. It was then that I really made the faith my own. I would say that's the first step toward what I am doing today, although at that time I still didn't feel that I was called [to be a priest], nor did I want to be."

Hat-tip: Perez Hilton

I just noticed Christian
picked up on this story as well. Christian is a friend from the Catholic student organization at our alma mater: The Newman Club at NYU.

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