Saturday, October 21, 2006

Catherine Zeppa Di Matteo: A Convert to Notre Dame (pt. 2)

In the last of Catherine's e-mail trilogy, my little P.S. not only sparked greater devotion to Notre Dame, but a splendid suggestion to spread the Irish excitement to the Pope as well. Are you listening Fr. Jenkins?

Mercoledì, 6 set 2006, alle 07:11 Europe/Rome, ha scritto:

>P.S. Notre Dame's next game is Sat., a tough one vs Penn St. Do you think
> Cardinal Bertone or (perhaps Benedict XVI) will be tuning in? Rumor
> has it Rome followed last year's match with Southern California...

Dear Mr. O'Toole, It was kind of you to reply again and I'm glad that my message went better this time. I do not believe that Cardinal Bertone will be tuning in and much less so Benedict XVI--unless the two of them happen to be guests of Cardinal Levada (American) and he were to be one to check out Notre Dame football.

But you know, if Notre Dame football would like to have the Pope tune in, they could invite all the Notre Dame fans (at the home games) to pray out-loud an Our Father-Hail Mary-Glory Be for the Church and the Pope before or after the Star Spangled Banner. Sooner or later it would most certainly come to the Holy Father's attention (and have Our Lady's happy blessing). And then too, the whole team, coaches and players, could go in pilgrimage to Rome and personally invite the Pope to Notre Dame stadium to see a game...and to talk about our Catholic faith and Jesus and Christianity. With a name like Notre Dame, there could hardly be a more fitting place to begin a Papal visit to the United States. Anyway, if he were not able to come in person, he would certainly send Cardinal Bertone, I guess!

This might sound pretty fantastic, but over here it's fairly routine. As I write, the Wednesday audience with the Pope is underway, and every now and again there are entire major league sport teams present, in their uniforms, at the audience. Not long ago the whole Ferrari group (Schumacher included) was at the audience and they had filled a part of St. Peter's square with a lot of honking Ferraris. And this is, as I said, fairly routine. As an American I would be utterly beside myself to see the Notre Dame football team, in full uniform, at the feet of the Pope in St. Peter's. Apart from the thrill though, it would make me very happy to see my American brothers and sisters enjoying the Church in this special way, which is very intimate and like real family, which is possible really only to the lucky faithful who live here in Europe in close physical proximity to the Church. It would be so wonderful to begin bridging that gap between America and Rome--and Notre Dame football could certainly do that. Once again best wishes and may God bless you and your work.
Catherine Zeppa Di Matteo

PS. ...and then your Notre Dame article could be turned into a nice pamphlet to present to Pope Benedict, introducing him to the phenomenon that is Notre Dame football for the Faith in America. And this would convince him to visit Notre Dame. Who knows!

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