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Legionaries of Christ 2, Pontifical North American College 1
Sports competition and picnic day brings two colleges together.

basketball competition norht american college
The basketball match resulted in a 51-30 Legionary victory.

Rome, May 10, 2010. Seminarians from the Legionaries of Christ and the Pontifical North American College met Sunday, May 2, for a day of fun and sports. Every year, the NAC and the Legionaries of Christ come together to compete at the North American seminary atop Rome’s Janiculum Hill. The Legionaries, for their part, usually invite them back every December 12—the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe—for a tasty Mexican-style dinner. This year, the sporting events included basketball, Ultimate Frisbee, and softball. To set the proper tone, the seminaries first gathered for Sunday Mass, at which about 30 priests from both seminaries concelebrated.

The games began soon after, with simultaneous Frisbee and basketball. The basketball game opened with a prayer, offered by Legionary of Christ Fr. Alfonso Corona. The hotly contested match was scoreless in the first two minutes, until the Legionaries made a Carolina play and scored on a backdoor basket, opening an 8-point run, until the NAC’s North American Martyrs broke it, making the score 8-2. The Martyrs played very tough, managing to get within three points of the lead halfway through the first half (14-11), but the Legionaries pressed harder with their defense. At the half, the score
North American College aerial view
An aerial view of the North American College, in the heart of Rome.
was 24-15 in favor of the Legionaries. At the final whistle, the Legionaries came away with a  51-30 victory.

At the same time, a seven-on-seven Ultimate Frisbee contest was under way. The rules of the contest stipulated that the first team to reach 17 touchdowns would be the winner. The Legionary team quickly made the first two scores, but the Martyrs, hot on their heals, quickly tied the game 2-2. The teams were neck-in-neck until the score reached 4-4, but the Legionaries made four unanswered touchdowns before the end of the first half. With the score at 8-4, the Martyrs rallied for one more point, but then they could not stop the onslaught. The final score was 17-5.

The seven-inning softball game proved a sore trial for the Legionaries. After the players and spectators had sung the National Anthem, the Legionaries made a strong start at the top of the first inning, scoring one run in a two-out rally. The Martyrs came on strong in the bottom of the first, opening a 3-1 lead. The Martyrs broke the game open in the fourth inning, with a grand-slam home run, followed by another run, giving them an 8-1 lead. In the top of the fifth, the Legionaries rallied with another run, but could not keep up with the Martyrs (another three runs scored in the bottom of the sixth). The Martyrs retired their side in the top of the seventh, giving a final score of 11-2, Martyrs. Two North American seminarians and Br. Ronald Conklin, a Legionary from Michigan, enriched the match with a running commentary.

Throughout the day, hamburgers and bratwurst were available—delicacies that are difficult to find in Italy—and the seminarians from both groups had plenty of time to make and renew friendships. Msgr. James F. Checchio, the rector, led the closing prayer, after a day in which both seminaries had much to be proud of.



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