A football coach…who’s also a priest

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A neat piece on a football coaching priest.  People often forget that priests are people just like us.  They are not only behind the altar or in the confessional, but they are also scientists, teachers, friends, sons, brothers, administrators, presidents, board members, chefs, athletes, musicians, dancers, video game geeks, star trekkies, sports fans, authors, accountants, engineers and yes, even football coaches.

Discipline, passion, challenge and joy—all four words describe the priesthood of Father Hollowell, who was ordained on June 6. There’s also an element of “surprise,” at least in the way he has used his priesthood to connect with people in the hope of bringing them closer to God.

Consider the first meeting that Father Hollowell had with Ty Hunt, the head coach of the Ritter Raiders’ varsity football team. Hunt thought that Father Hollowell would be the chaplain for the team, a priest who would pray with them and celebrate Mass for them before every game. When Father Hollowell told Hunt that he also wanted to coach, the head coach had questions and doubts.

“I wasn’t exactly prepared for him wanting to take an active role as a coach,” Hunt recalls. “Then he and I talked about wide receiver and defensive back techniques, and I knew he had the knowledge. It has worked out great. The kids see the passion in him—not only for football but for a Christian life. He shows them that if you want something, you have to go for it wholeheartedly.” [Full story]

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Maggie October 28, 2009 at 11:05 am

I went to Grad School at the seminary where Fr. Hollowell was studying, and spent some time with him one summer taking an Early Church History class together. We were lucky enough to have him as a summer guest of our parish just before his deacon year. He accepted every assignment with enthusiasm and humility. He was a pleasure to be around. These qualities will make him a great priest.

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