Quincy University starts new season with Blessing of the Athletes

On Sept. 28, at 6:30 p.m., student athletes of Quincy University filed into the Health and Fitness Center to start the annual Blessing of the Athletes. The gym was bustling with student athletes as they walked in and waited in their respective groups until it was time for the commemorative photo.

The photo taken featured student athletes organized by category of sport into the shape of the Tau cross, a Hebrew and Greek symbol used to represent Franciscan values of redemption, salvation and devotion.

“I think Blessing of the Athletes is important because it gives students an opportunity to meet each other and embrace the spirit of Quincy University,” said Peyton Plunkett, junior and captain of the football team.

Two faculty members walking down the aisle, side by side, blessing student athletes with holy water.
Two members of QU share blessings with the student athletes using holy water. (Wes Shelor/QU Media)

Afterward, the student athletes walked across the street to St. Francis Church, to cite the Athletic Pledge, pray, and be blessed with holy water.

“I think Blessing of the Athletes is a great way for the athletes to start out their athletic careers on the field, prepare for their own seasons, and prepare them for their wins,” said Jesse Mose, senior and organist for St. Francis Church.

Jesse Mose playing the organ near the pulpit in St. Francis Church.
Jesse Mose playing the organ for the Blessing of the Athletes. (Wes Shelor/QU Media)

“The Blessing of the Athletes really began before 2009, and that was before I got here,” said Father John Doctor, Franciscan friar. “It was created by the director of athletics, at that time, Marty Bell. After I got here, I thought we needed to make it more powerful, and so we put more ritual into it with the candles and the torch cups. Along with that, we wrote the Athletic Pledge so that it really reflected the symbols of the university and what they call us to, whether you are an athlete or not an athlete. For the athletes, it really should come to a greater realization that all that they have and all that they are is because God gave them the ability to do it and can they give that praise and glory and thanks to God in return, and be the best they can be.”

The student athletes walked away from the church, invigorated by the blessings for a new season in sports.

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