By Liz Sullivan
The Church’s liturgical calendar states it is Ordinary Time, but it was no ordinary event when the Diocese of San Jose held the 11th Annual Revs vs. Sems Basketball Challenge on February 3 at Santa Clara University’s Leavey Center.
In front of a crowd of close to 2,000 faithful, the Sems defeated the Revs 45-34 to take an overall 7-4 lead in the series.
“This is such a great blessing for all of us,” said Father Joe Kim, the Director of Vocations for the Diocese. “I felt like we all really won tonight.”
In addition to the Diocese of San Jose, also represented in the game were: Archdiocese of San Francisco and the dioceses of Oakland, Reno, Sacramento, Stockton and Monterey.
The Revs won the opening tip, but the Sems ran out to a 4-0 lead and never trailed in the game. For the Revs, the closest the team got was one point, 24-23, with seven minutes and 51 seconds left in the third period, when Father Michael Gazzingan, Parochial Vicar of Saint Frances Cabrini, sank a 3-pointer.
Shortly after that the crowd started a “let’s go Revs” chant and Father Joe ran around the court several times encouraging them to do the wave.
“It was great to see all of the young people out here,” said Father Kim, with a broad smile on his face. “This is what this game is all about.”
Bishop Patrick J. McGrath presented the Sems with the championship trophy and also handed out the trophies to the MVPs of both teams. Father Gazzingan earned the award for the Revs and Patrick Klekas, a third-year seminarian from the Diocese of Reno, also received the honor.
Before the game, and before he gave the blessing and said a prayer for Vocations, the Bishop was in a jovial mood and had some advice for both sides.
“Congratulations to the seminarians,” said the Bishop, “for their kindness and compassion. There are two ambulances and a defib outside in case anything happens to the priests. Be nice to the priests because they are the ones who will do your evaluations.
To the priests, remember the seminarians will be the ones picking out your retirement homes. Seriously, I am very delighted to be here and I congratulate both teams.”
To learn more about vocations in the Diocese, visit www.dsj.org/vocations.