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God and Football: NFL Chaplains Offer Spiritual Advice

TIME magazine recently published an article about Father James Baraniak, Norbertine priest and chaplain for the Green Bay Packers.

By Micah Kelber
Friday, Oct. 30, 2009

For most of football season, Father James Baraniak wears his green vestment with gold lining when he performs Mass in Green Bay, Wis. And while it has nothing to do with the Packers' team colors — green is mandated by the Vatican — it is something of a holy coincidence, given the fact that he has been the Packers' chaplain for the past 13 years.

Still, sometimes his primary allegiance with the church causes some playful friction with the team.

"During Advent, I am obligated to wear purple, the color of penitence but also the Minnesota Vikings," he says. "If we play them at that time, you can bet the players will have a bit of fun with me and call me a traitor."

Every football team in the NFL has at least one chaplain to whom the players and coaches can turn for religious guidance. And though some may question the appropriateness of bringing one popular American Sunday pastime — God — into a considerably more commercial and violent Sunday pastime, the chaplains believe it is precisely their mission to help reconcile the two. >>Read more

Related links:
Fr. James Thomas Baraniak's Blog

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