Kenrick-Glennon seminarians to defend title against Clergy and Company at Souls and Goals game

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The Kenrick-Glennon Seminary Lions soccer team's recent win against Concordia Seminary is just the fuel the team needs as it faces off with Clergy and Company at the second annual Souls and Goals Soccer Cup next week.

Priests and seminarians will play at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, at St. Dominic High School in O'Fallon. The seminarians defeated the priests 2-0 last year. The real goal of the game, though, is to raise awareness of vocations, said Father Timothy Foy, associate pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish in Dardenne Prairie. Father Foy explained the idea for the event, which drew about 1,000 people last year, stemmed from a discussion among the parish's vocation committee.

"We wanted to show the joy of these guys just being themselves and having fun," he said. "It's seeing priests and seminarians doing something different. And it's All Souls month, when we pray for souls. Plus, it's a shot in the arm for the archdiocese."

Father Foy promised several surprises at this year's game, including a new mascot and something special at halftime. He wouldn't reveal any hints, but noted, "it should be good."

Led by head coach Father Andrew Burkemper, Clergy and Company will see the return of Father Christopher Seiler, who recently moved back to St. Louis after finishing graduate studies in Rome. Andrew Shipp, a friend of the priests who was out with an injury last year, also will be back on the team, as well as Auxiliary Bishop Edward Rice.

As for the seminary Lions, Assistant Coach Nick Lee acknowledged that the team has had a "disappointing" season so far (they're 1-2-3 coming into next week's game), but the recent win against Concordia for the Nicea Cup gave the team the energy it needs against Clergy and Company.

"All that said, we're very confident we're going to destroy the priests next week," he said.

The Lions, led by Head Coach Padraic Stack, this year has acquired four talented players from Africa -- two seminarians from Uganda, Joseph Lugalambi and Matthias Njuba, and two from Congo, Daniel Koko-Oleko and Laurent Okitakatshi Odjango.

Of the 30 seminarians playing for the Lions, about a third of them are in parish assignments and have been sharing their love for the game and vocation with those they meet.

"It has done a lot" for vocations, said Lee. "It shows an active part of seminary life, both the fraternity and formation."

Souls and Goals

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 6

WHERE: St. Dominic High School, 31 St. Dominic Drive in O'Fallon

TIME: Evening prayer at 6 p.m., followed by the game at 7

MORE INFO: Admission is free and concessions will be available for purchase. See soulsandgoals.org

Vocation Awareness Week

National Vocation Awareness Week, this year Nov. 2-8, is the annual weeklong celebration designated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The week is dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education, and to renew prayers and support for those who are considering one of these vocations.

In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Catholic grade and high schools, parish schools of religion and homeschools received information packets from the archdiocesan Office of Vocations, with details on upcoming vocation-related activities and access to "Vocation Lessons," an online curriculum supplement, produced by Vianney Vocations, which focuses on teaching students about vocations to marriage, priesthood and religious life.

"We wanted to make sure that they have the resources they need, that every teacher and catechist from K through 12 has access to very solid and dynamic information on priesthood, religious life and marriage." said Father Christopher Martin, vocation director. "The curriculum is built for each grade level and fits extremely well into building a culture of vocations."

For more information on vocation-related activities in the archdiocese, visit stlvocations.org; Vianney Vocations' "Vocation Lessons" can be found online at www.vocationlessons.com. 

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