Praying for a win

SOUTH BEND – For some Notre Dame fans, extra prayers were said on Sunday ahead of tonight’s big football game.

WSBT on Sunday visited a church in South Bend with close ties to the university.

Parishioners gathered for Sunday mass at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church. One of those leading the service was Deacon Brian Ching, a Notre Dame graduate.

“Father Sorin, who founded the University of Notre Dame, founded Saint Joseph Church in 1853, so we have always had a long relationship,” said Ching. “And even today, many of our parishioners are faculty and staff members who work at Notre Dame, and they are very excited.”

It’s safe to say a good portion of the parish is interested in and following the outcome of the game. Again, the power of prayer comes into play here on a number of different levels.

“I think Coach Holtz still says it best,” noted Ching. “Coach always said, ‘The Lord might not really mind who wins the football game or not, but only his mother does.’”

“I’d have to say about 50% of the people walk in here right now, their minds and their thoughts are about Notre Dame,” guessed parishioner-usher Joe Lazzara. “So, we are praying (Monday night) is a big night for Notre Dame.”

“It’s hard to understand and conceive how the Lord would want one team to win over the other, but he does want a certain outcome in our participation in sports – He wants us to do our best,” said parishioner-usher John Coriden.

“(Monday), we will celebrate the feast of Saint Brother Andrew, the first Saint of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, and he believed that prayer certainly worked miracles in the lives of people,” added parishioner Andrew Polaniecki. “Now, that doesn’t mean we are guaranteed a victory for Notre Dame (Monday).”