It was a warm, humid Sunday evening at Skyway Park in North Syracuse, and the rain fell on and off. It did nothing, though, to dampen the enthusiasm of the Men in Black diocesan softball team’s effort to promote diocesan vocations and have a lot of fun in the process.
Father Jason Hage, the director of the Office of Vocation Promotion, put together a crack team of priests, deacons, and seminarians to take on the skilled St Rose of Lima squad. It was a great game with the MiB winning in extra innings, but this was not about winning or losing a sports competition. It was about promoting vocations to ordained clergy and religious life and having an excellent time while doing so.
“The Mib Game is important for two reasons,” Fr Hage explained, “It highlights the human side of the Call and that the fruit of responding to God’s will in one’s life is joy and laughter.” He adds that “It highlights that vocations come from the home. To have close to four hundred people show up to support this event connects the Call to the home and the family.”
The bleachers were full and lawn chairs lined the right and left field fences as a great turnout witnessed the game.
Father Christopher Celentano, pastor of St Rose of Lima, says “It was a blast to host the Men in Black game. Events like these serve to illustrate that there are joyful people following God’s plan for their life.” Father Celentano also points out that the game puts ordained and religious life in the proper perspective for those considering a vocation.
“Sometimes we hear from families or even parents that they are concerned when their children express interest or even a desire in a religious vocation because they are worried about their happiness,” Fr. Celentano said “This game helps to show, in a small way, that men responding to the call to priesthood or diaconate as well as the women and men responding to the call to consecrated religious life are not alone and they are leading fulfilling, joyful lives.”