The Diocese of Syracuse will host its annual Men In Black softball game to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life. This year the action will take place on Sunday, July 28, at Notre Dame Jr./Sr. High School in Utica. The first pitch will be thrown at 6 p.m.

Bishop–elect Douglas J. Lucia will team up with the priests and seminarians of the diocese for this competitive game. Bishop–elect Lucia will be ordained and installed as the 11th bishop of the Diocese of Syracuse Aug. 8 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

The annual Men In Black competitions began in 2001. Father Joe O’Connor, Director of Vocation Promotion and coordinator of the game, believes it is important for young people to see that priesthood is a healthy and fun option for their lives, especially as they are hearing more and more about the decreasing number of priests. Most people only meet their parish priest at church on Sundays. This game is aimed at opening their eyes to new possibilities, and creating a positive environment where they can say yes to the call of God. Choosing priesthood today can be a difficult choice, but it is much easier if family and friends support that decision.

For more information regarding the game, contact Father Joe O’Connor, Director of Vocation Promotion, at (315) 470-1468 or

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