One of the perks of discerning God's call to the priesthood at Moreau Seminary, aside from the 24-hour access to a full-sized basketball court attached to the building, is that each January we compete in the Father O'Malley Invitational, an inter-seminary basketball tournament hosted by Mundelein Seminary in Chicago. (At Moreau, the tournament is simply referred to as "Mundelein".) Seminaries from across the region (even a couple from Missouri and Louisiana) come for a weekend of good competition and Catholic fellowship.
The first few practices were focused and instructive, but there was a problem: several of the guys weren't having fun. In my haste to improve our team's skills, I lost sight that the fundamental reason we attend Mundelein is to build community. I had heard many say this, but I hadn't really listened.
Although we didn't win the championship, we enjoyed our time together. We shared a few laughs over (and about) BLT pizza. (By the way, I would NOT recommend this as pregame food.) Before the games, we warmed up to live music and during the games the band played in the transitions between buckets, just like in the NBA! At dead balls, we laughed with our fans. (One made a huge head cutout of one of our beloved priests as well as a basketball helmet/hat. Nice work, Josh!) We prayed with the other teams and each day we celebrated the Eucharist. We played hard, and we grew in brotherhood.