By Rebeka Porter
The annual Blessing of the Athletes ceremony had to change locations this year due to an increase of athletes on campus.
The ceremony has traditionally been held in the QU Chapel located in Francis Hall. The purpose of the event is to bless all of QU’s athletes prior to the sports season. Due to the number of athletes, the chapel no longer had the space to house all sports teams for the event this year.
Due to this change, the Blessing of the Athletes was held at Saint Francis Solanus Church.
“We’re real excited. We’re outgrowing what we’re doing athletically. We’ve been in the chapel at QU and now we’re at Saint Francis across the street and our athletic programs are growing exponentially. And it’s been fantastic for our student athletes,” Tom Pajic, head football coach at QU, said.
“The athletics department is just growing. It’s been a fantastic thing to see; especially with all of our athletes coming back to campus this week. It’s been a lot of fun,” Brendan Bittner, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications, said.
“It’s kind of a big deal to have Blessing of the Athletes because we take pride in our school work and our athletics. And I think having QU as a Catholic school and having students from all over is a great opportunity. We moved our service to Saint Francis just because the athletic population has grown which is a really good thing. We want more of that,” Roza Panos, senior and member of the QU Dance Team, said.
“I think it’s awesome that our athletic department is growing to the point that we have to move over to a different facility for the Blessing of the Athletes. It’s nice to know that there’s so many of us who share a same bond in athletics and that we can all express it and come together for the Blessing of the Athletes,” Elizabeth Kuenzi, senior and member of the QU Tennis Team, said.
Carol Rund, mother of freshman football player Andrew Rund, wanted to share her thoughts about their first time at the Blessing of the Athletes ceremony.
“I loved every part of it. From the players giving testimonies to reading of the word to the lighting of the candles and just the blessing with water. I was very moved and very touched. I’m so thankful that God lead my son here to Quincy,” Carol said.