December 5, 2019
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"Baseball Priest" Once Dreamed of the Majors - Now He's an MLB Chaplain

"Baseball Priest" Once Dreamed of the Majors - Now He's an MLB Chaplain

Former minor league player Father Burke Masters still knocks it out of the park through ministry

PR Newswire

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Nov. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Maybe going to a Cubs game isn't a religious experience but leave it to the team's chaplain to point out that a 107-year championship drought certainly requires strong faith. No matter how the Cubs play, fans continued to fill the stadium to support their team. And no matter how far we've strayed from God, there is always a fresh season, a new spring training, ahead.

Father Burke Masters

This is the perspective of Father Burke Masters, and his story is told in a short documentary-style video produced by the Knights of Columbus.  

Father Masters' journey to the Cubs did not happen as he would have initially planned. He was a baseball star at Mississippi State whose dreams died out in the minor leagues. Then this Catholic convert entered the priesthood.

The Knights' video about Masters is an installment of "Everyday Heroes," a series that depicts ordinary men who have drawn on their Catholic faith and membership in the Knights to do extraordinary things. These mini documentaries are responsive to Catholics and other men who grapple with their place in society and the role of spirituality in their lives. 

In his time with the Cubs, Masters has seen a lot. He was the chaplain during the Cubs' 2016 World Series victory, and he will be there as the team transitions to a new manager next season. Through it all, Masters has provided a steady hand.

"I see my ministry as a ministry of presence, and just being available and building relationships with the guys," he said. "Inevitably guys go through difficult times on or off the field and just to help them to trust in the Lord."

During baseball season, Masters offers two Masses before Sunday home games at Wrigley Field — one for the employees, which he celebrates in section 209 in the stands — and one in the locker room for players and coaches from both the Cubs and the visiting team. After Mass he is available for anyone who wants to talk or go to confession.

"Oftentimes to have a Saturday evening game and then a Sunday 1:00 game, you have to be at the ballpark early, so it's really hard to get to Mass sometimes," Masters said. "Being able to provide the sacraments at the stadium is very, very appreciated by the Catholic players."

In addition to serving as the Cubs' chaplain, Masters is the director of adult formation in the Diocese of Joliet. He also works with Catholic Athletes for Christ, an organization dedicated to serving Catholic athletes, coaches and staff.

Ultimately, Masters expresses how he learned to let go of his own plans and to trust in God's. "It's not about our plans." He added, "God was saying this was your dream to be a major league baseball player and now you're living my dream as a priest. And you get to do it in the major leagues."

About Everyday Heroes

In the second season of the Everyday Heroes video series we learn the stories of individual men who are on journeys to make a positive difference that are inextricably linked to their faith.  

Whether bringing clean water to remote villages, returning to the wrestling mat after a life-changing accident, creating a safe place that provides hope and help for the families of sick children or making the ultimate sacrifice to save classmates, each episode features a Knight's inspiring story of how he made a difference for others while strengthening his faith and leaning on the support and strength of the Knights of Columbus. To view all of the season one and season two Everyday Heroes, visit. www.kofc.org/heroes.

About Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus is a fraternity of Catholic men striving to better ourselves and our world by helping and protecting those who are not able to do so for themselves--whether they are next door or around the world.

We are a group of nearly 2 million men who come from many places, backgrounds and stages in our lives, but we share a commitment to investing our time, efforts and resources into activities that reflect our faith and our values. The K of C gave $185.7 million to charity and donated 76.7 million hours of hands-on service in 2018.

The Knights of Columbus is also an A+ rated, Fortune 1000 insurance company, which grew out of our founding in 1882 by Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney who sought to ensure the protection and care of our members' families. For more information, visit www.kofc.org.

Cision View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/baseball-priest-once-dreamed-of-the-majors--now-hes-an-mlb-chaplain-300961160.html

SOURCE Knights of Columbus



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