Bishop Thomas John Paprocki welcomed the gathering with an opening prayer and teaching about the rosary. Jason Schreder, coach and faith formation director at Father McGivney, Catholic High School in Glen Carbon followed with a testimonial on the importance of the rosary in his life and in sports as a weapon in the spiritual battle against evil in the world. Lou Judd of the SportsLeader organization then delivered a message encouraging everyone in the group to use the rosary as a means to grow closer to God so all can win to gain eternal life. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, recitation of the rosary, and Benediction were held, followed by group photos and refreshments provided by the St. Teresa booster club.
Bishop Paprocki and his Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) steering committee hope the rally becomes an annual celebration. CAC chapters were started in all Catholic high schools last year. CAC is designed to provide student athletes with opportunities to embrace their Catholic faith and to be daily witnesses to their faith for others. SportsLeader is a virtue-based program for coach professional development that provided the training curriculum. In addition to the Springfield diocese, SportsLeader is holding rosary rallies in 21 other locations of the country.
All attendees, including several priests, principals, athletic directors, coaches, parents, and diocesan school personnel received a St. Sebastian prayer card and a rosary blessed by Bishop Paprocki.