|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
was 24-15 in favor of the Legionaries. At the final
whistle, the Legionaries came away with a 51-30 victory.
|An aerial view of the North American College, in the heart of Rome.|
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.