Outside the Box: Battlefield Confessions

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"Confession has been my habitual homecoming since I was a child. It is a consolation and a joy, and such joy, our faith teaches us, is meant for everyone. It is our vocation to bring it to as many people as possible."

Cardinal Donald Wuerl


It's important to ask ourselves from time to time are we really "getting it done?" Are we being wise in a turbulent world? Are we REALLY being creative and effective? And in some instances, "Are we thinking OUTSIDE THE BOX?" The New Evangelization urges us to evangelize thoughtfully and creatively in an ever-changing world....and that HAS to include the sacrament of confession.

The Bishop Fenwick High School football team, located in Middletown, OH (just outside of Cincinnati, OH) is having a memorable year. As of this week, they are 8-0 and ranked first in the OHSAA DIV Region 14 Poll. Led by a group of 25 seniors they are working hard to bring home the first undefeated football regular season record in school history.


SportsLeader is proud to be a part of the ENTIRE Bishop Fenwick athletic program and especially the Fenwick football program! From the beginning of the football season in July, SportsLeader was there leading the Fenwick football seniors through a "Brotherhood" workshop, to supporting the team each week, implementing SL "Commitment Goal-Cards" to just last week helping to orchestrate the first "Battlefield Confessions" conducted during practice by resident priest/teacher, Father Adam Puntel. (Which numerous other SportsLeader teams have also done-setting time for priests to hear athletes confessions.)


Bishop Fenwick HFC Joe Snively and Father Adam Puntel


When approached to consider making himself available to hear confessions during football practice, Father Adam was more than willing to accommodate the football team. To say he was eager would be an understatement! (He, himself, played high school football as well!) And although, Father has an incredibly busy schedule he knows any opportunity to lead young people to Christ is a must.

When Head Football Coach, Joe Snively was also approached in making his players available to giving confessions during practice (and in the midst of a possible record setting football season!) he didn't hesitate. Where better to be strengthened in Christ than on the football field? So, on Wednesday, practice started at 3:00pm. Father Adam came to the field at 4:15pm and stayed until practice ended at 5:15pm. Individual drills and group drills had already been completed. All players were obviously still practicing, but there were many opportunities for players to be able to get a quick time with Father in between series; almost as "a moment with Christ" off to the side--away from the action. Several players took advantage of the opportunity-confidently and humbly-asking Christ to be with them ALWAYS. (A coach even went-with the players jokingly saying that there wasn't enough time in practice left for him to give a full confession!)


We at SportsLeader urge you to take Bishop Fenwick High School's example and make Christ more available to your young people. We must meet them where they are at, in their pressure-filled lives of school and fun-loving lives of sports and entertainment. We must ask ourselves, "Are we as adults, really relevant?" More importantly, "Are we as adults, making God relevant in our children's lives?"

Thank you Bishop Fenwick High School, the Bishop Fenwick football team, Head Coach Joe Snively and Father Adam Puntel for your faith and obedience to Christ and the Church and Good Luck for the rest of your season!

Chris Willertz 
SportsLeader: Virtue = Strength!!