Seminarians, priests and deacons from across the diocese traveled to the home of the newly named Divine Mercy Parish for the annual Men in Black softball game August 11. The evening was a cool 70 degrees as Father John Canarro addressed the crowd in Central Square.
“God calls all of us to a life of holiness; some are called in a special way to live that out as priests and religious,” he told more than 550 spectators.
The home team roster included adults, teens and children from Divine Mercy’s Brewerton and Central Square campuses. On July 1, Bishop Robert J. Cunningham announced that the churches formerly known as St. Agnes (Brewerton) and St. Michael (Central Square) would form a new parish with two worship sites under the title of Divine Mercy Parish.
Bishop Cunningham opened the evening with prayer and invited the Divine Mercy team to show the Men in Black some of what Jesus talked about to St. Faustina: mercy.
True to its history, the game was a nail-biter. The Men in Black took a quick lead in the first inning, scoring the first run. Divine Mercy and Men in Black traded runs for the next two innings. In the fifth inning, Divine Mercy ditched the Bishop’s suggestion and unleashed a six-run inning to take a commanding lead. In the bottom of the eighth, with the bases loaded with clergy, the center fielder dove for a ball and missed, leading to a base-clearing grand slam. With a scoreless ninth, as the teams were preparing to take the field for extra innings, the game was called due to darkness. The final score was Divine Mercy 12, Men in Black 12.
Although there was no winner on the scoreboard, the people of Divine Mercy and the many others from Mexico, Pulaski, Fayetteville, Binghamton and beyond all enjoyed the evening of fun. From the dizzy bat races between innings to the battle of the youth groups, balloon tosses and the giant slingshot, the crowd was thoroughly entertained.
“This is what the Men in Black events are all about,” said Father Christopher Celentano, pastor of Divine Mercy. “A life of service to God and the Church is a joyful life.”
If you or someone you know is interested in discerning a vocation to priesthood or religious life, contact Father Joe O’Connor in the Diocesan Office of Vocation Promotion at (315) 470-1468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.