Brother Vincent Hipps, O.S.B., and President Tom Kunkel (right) are conducting their good-natured rivalry via Skype.
The two Super Bowl colleges throw down a friendly wager
St. Norbert College president Thomas Kunkel has placed a friendly wager over Super Bowl XLV with Saint Vincent College president Brother Norman Hipps, O.S.B. St. Norbert hosts the Green Bay Packers’ training camp while Saint Vincent plays host to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ camp.
St. Norbert may have the advantage: it will be our Fr. Jim Baraniak who will be one of the chaplains preaching to the team at Mass on game day.
Connections run deep
The Packers (St. Norbert College, 53 years) and the Steelers (Saint Vincent College, 45 years) have the longest training camp relationships with their college hosts of any teams in the NFL.
Says Kunkel: “They (Saint Vincent) may have the name, but we had the man himself (Lombardi) on our campus for nine years. In fact, we just published a book about the relationship between Lombardi, the Packers and St. Norbert College. I have no doubt the Lombardi trophy will be coming home to its birthplace, Green Bay.”
Both colleges’ student government association presidents have piggybacked on the fun, pitting St. Norbert’s SGA president Zach Parmeter ’11 against Saint Vincent’s Renold Sossong.
To back up his bet, Hipps has put up a bag of flour and loaf of bread from the historic grist mill on the Saint Vincent campus, along with a book about the Steelers.
Kunkel is offering some Wisconsin cheese and sausage, along with a copy of “The Championship Years.”
Faith in the team
The college is celebrating its Packer pride, and the value it places on its multiple relationships with the Titletown team, at www.snc.edu/go/gopack.
Meanwhile, Fr. Jim is seeking input for Sunday’s homily via his blog. Baraniak will be in Dallas with the team and has an unparalleled opportunity to influence young lives, just hours before the big game.
He says: “At that Mass on the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Packers will hear the same readings that will be proclaimed in all Catholic churches throughout the world. Naturally, the homily needs to reflect the readings of the day and address the situation in which the Packers find themselves – at least that is my homiletic style.
“If you would be so moved, please take a look at the readings for Feb. 6 and contemplate how such spiritual direction could possibly influence the homily. (I believe that the readings are quite provocative for the setting in which the Packers are finding themselves.)
"Feel free to use your thoughts and prayers, challenges and affirmations to inspire the Green and Gold on to victory.”
His readers have already taken the task to heart, as comments show.