Golf is one of the most complex sports in the world. It requires mental and physical strength. There are times when it can cause anxiety or supply much peace. There are also the rare opportunities to play golf as a team. In America, there is a lot of pride in the individual excellence that is achieved in the game. The Ryder Cup, which is a tournament played every two years between America and Europe, occurred during the time of the almost-as-prestigious tournament held by Mount St. Mary’s Seminary & School of Theology (MTSM), in which four Sacred Heart seminarians participated. Though the four of us were not selected to represent all of America, we did represent Sacred Heart at the 35th annual tournament with our best efforts. A tall task was placed ahead of us.
Two of us represented SHMS the year prior and were almost able to bring home the trophy, but ended up in a tiebreaker for first place, which was lost to the seminarians from the Pontifical College Josephinum, from Columbus, OH. Though the task was tall, the four of us were not as focused on the trophy as we were on spending a weekend in fraternity with each other and with other seminarians from various seminaries. We were able to meet seminarians from Mundelein Seminary, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, and of course Mount St. Mary’s own resident seminarians.
The weekend was full of fraternity. When we arrived on Friday evening, we were met with the utmost hospitality from MTSM seminarians. Quickly following our arrival, a social in the seminary’s own piazza began with music, drinks, and house-made brick oven pizza! The social was a great way for us to meet other seminarians. For me personally, I appreciated the opportunity to share graces of my journey in seminary while also listening to others share their journey with me.
While the social was a great opportunity for fraternity, we were not distracted from the tee time that awaited us the next morning. The Vineyard Golf Course in Cincinnati, OH was hosting the tournament as they have done in previous years. A scramble format was the choice of play as it has been in the past, which can offer some opportunity for a low score. This year, us four representing SHMS were able to come up with a score of 68. After, there was a “19th hole” fundraiser event at the seminary in which all funds raised were given to a pro-life organization.
Later that evening the seminarians all gathered in the St. Gregory the Great Chapel for Evening Prayer. A dinner and awards reception was held that evening with the rector, Fr. Anthony Brausch, and all participating seminarians. Our very own Christian Salata won the “Closest to the Pin” competition on hole 13! This year, with a score of 68, we were able to finish in third place. First place went to the resident seminarians at MTSM with a score of 59. It is always a joy to participate in this event and do our best to represent Sacred H with pride while also building relationships with other seminarians from the Midwest. We are thankful to MTSM for inviting us and to God for the brotherhood that is formed during the journey to the priesthood.