The Saints Went Marching In

I’m not much of a football fan, but I usually find myself watching the Superbowl every year. It provides an excuse for a party, after all, and that means snacks. This year I was rooting for the Saints, mainly because they were the underdogs and have never taken home the Lombardi trophy. (Plus, I like saints more than horses.)

According to this Catholic News Agency article, the Saints are strongly connected to the Church in New Orleans:

“In recent years, as Mr. Tom Benson has owned the team, the Saints organization has been very involved with the local Catholic Church and Catholic Charities,” Sarah Comiskey McDonald, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, said on Friday. “Mr. Benson is a major donor to our PACE Center (Program for all-inclusive care for the elderly) and our first center was named the Shirley Landry Benson PACE Center at St. Cecilia in memory of his deceased wife.”

Mr. Benson’s family members are deeply involved in helping the Catholic Church in New Orleans, and various team members have given time and money to schools and ministries.

The name “Saints” apparently harkens back to 1967 when the team’s owner approached the Archbishop and asked if it was sacrilegious to use the word saints for a football team. The Archbishop heartily approved and even wrote an official prayer for team that year that included these words:   

“…Our Heavenly Father, who has instructed us that the ‘saints by faith conquered kingdoms…and overcame lions,’ grant our Saints an increase of faith and strength so that they will not only overcome the Lions but also the Bears, the Rams, the Giants, and even those awesome people in Green Bay… .”

The CNA article also notes that the Indianapolis Colts have their own fans in the Church. In fact, Archbishop Daniel Buechlein of Indianapolis and New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond made a bet on the game:

…If the Saints win, Archbishop Aymond will receive southern Indiana pork chops, but if the Colts win Archbishop Buechlein will have gumbo on his dinner table.

When asked if prelates often bet on sporting events, Archbishop Aymond told CNA that “As far as our friendly wager, we cannot say whether it is a norm, but it is all in good fun.”

Maybe Archbishop Aymond will invite the Saints over for Indiana pork chops. 


Zoe Romanowsky


Zoe Romanowsky is writer, consultant, and coach. Her articles have appeared in "Catholic Digest," "Faith & Family," "National Catholic Register," "Our Sunday Visitor," "Urbanite," "Baltimore Eats," and Zo

  • Margaret Cabaniss

    What a great game. But am I the only one who thought most of the commercials were pretty lame?

    Speaking of which, here’s a link to the Tebow ad that had everyone so worked up: It’s so mild that, had NOW not made such a big fuss about it, I would never have known it had anything to do with abortion.

  • Joshua

    There was a fuss about that Tim Tebow ad? From either side? That was the biggest wuss of a pro-life ad I’ve ever seen! It reminded me more of the graduation program ads where parents say how much they love their kids. One million to say absolutely nothing? They should have had a chimp rocking to a boombox and finished with “We just wasted two million dollars. Choose life.”

    The bad thing is it opens the door for advocacy ads. And if NOW does one, you can bet it won’t be as subtle and as tame.

  • Rob H.

    The bad thing is it opens the door for advocacy ads. And if NOW does one, you can bet it won’t be as subtle and as tame.

    Advocacy ads aren’t exactly new to the Super Bowl. There have been a couple of “green” ads the past few years. Also, candidate Obama ran a campaign ad during the 2008 game.

    It was a pretty underwhelming ad, though.

  • Pammie

    The great-nephew of Archbishop Hannan (95 yrs old, former N.O. archbishop) posted early Sunday morning on FB that his great-uncle and the current archbishop were on their way to sit on either side of the owner to lend a little “heavanly aid” on behalf of the Saints. Happy it all worked out as poor old N.O. could do with the encouragement.

    I didn’t get the point of most of the ads. Since I am not a football fan or TV watcher, I thought it was me being a bit thick. It’s some relief to know that it wasn’t only I who was underwhelmed.

  • Christine

    I bet my dad is smiling from heaven right now. Since my dad was from Galveston, Texas, his football allegiances belonged to the Aggies, Oilers, Saints and Cowboys. Too bad my Dad wasn’t around to watch me scream at the tv screen. He would have been screaming right beside me.

    I did scratch my head about the Tebow add. I didn’t even know what it was for until about 10 seconds into the add (yes, I am slow…).

    Did anyone see our fearless leader’s teleprompter assault upon the nation? I didn’t. How did it go?

  • I am not Spartacus

    When I saw the Tebow Commercial.

    And what was the deal with “The Who?”

    Peter Townsend looked like Jack Klugman

  • Christine

    and unfortunately it tends to march over our faces.[smiley=laugh]

    On a more serious note, I always hated that “Teenage Wasteland” song. It was depressing when I heard it as a child and even more depressing seeing somebody’s grandfather saying with glee “They’re all wasted”.

    The visual of old men singing it with aplomb along with Townsend trying to get the crick out of his shoulder when doing his signature power chord arm swing compounded the tragic nature of the song.

  • Pammie

    Laughing and laughing……I don’t really know who Jack Klugman is but ( to put it gently), I was not impressed with what’s left of the Who. It was cringe-worthy. Time to pack it in chaps and join the Moody Blues on their perennial tour of the southern US Gulf Coast. Truly there’s something to be said for always leaving your audience wanting more.

  • Pammie

    Laughing at your last post too! I thought to myself at the time, Townsend was going to be using an awful lot of liniment after the show was concluded.

  • Mark

    “Peter Townsend looked like Jack Klugman”

    And why was Roger Daltrey dressed like Doctor Who?

  • I am not Spartacus

    I have heard rumors, prolly untrue, that once Angelina saw Drew Brees holding his beautiful son after the Super Bowl victory she offered him $6,000,000.00 for the kid.