Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fr. Tony prays once again for the Who Dats

Drew Brees praying for a win. Photo: Michael DeMocker
God of All Grace, on this sacred day, the Who Dat Nation comes before you giving all honor and praise to you. Standing proud on the gridiron of life, we are grateful for the many highs and lows of our journey in the National Football League.

As members of the New Orleans Saints family, we are owners, administrators, coaches and staff. We are players, trainers, reporters and fans. We are the Who Dat Nation and have vowed to be united through good times and bad.
More than any other NFL community, we know both the joys and pains of loving our team. We have been to the mountaintop as World Champions and wallowed in the deep valley of a single win season. We have packed a million Who Dats on our streets for a Super Bowl parade and yet have worn bags of shame on our heads when times were rough. Whether flying like beautiful pelicans or stinging like pesky mosquitoes, the one thing we have always done is stick together as one Who Dat Nation Under God.
Today, we cry out to you asking that you keep us united as one. The Who Dat Nation is hurting and needs your grace. It was your love that brought us to Super Bowl XLIV and it will be your love that will bring us back to the top of the league again. Today, let us remember that we are the Who Dat Nation. We are strong. We are blessed. We are proud.

Right now, our team needs your strength and our unwavering support to resurrect their season. With your grace, the New Orleans Saints will rise like a phoenix from the ashes. They have all the pieces they need to be victorious. Now, they need your blessings.
Like the many saints in the kingdom of heaven, we cannot expect our players and staff to be perfect. None of your saints were perfect. Each dealt with their own human flaws and personal limitations. We have come to realize that a saint is just a sinner who fell down and got up. Well, like your heavenly saints, we need our New Orleans Saints to rise up from their troubles and claim their places of glory.
On this day, the entire Who Dat Nation cries out to you for strength. From the original ticket holders who burned beneath the sun at Tulane Stadium to the first grade children who shout 'Who Dat" in our schools, we are all praying that you will once again, bless our boys.
We ask that you bless Tom and Gail Benson and Rita Benson LeBlanc. May they continue to guide the Who Dat Nation along the pathway of success.
Bless our general manager, coaches and staff. Allow them to create ideas and plans that lead to great achievements on the field and in the community.
Bless our players. Help each of them play to the best of their ability while remaining free from major injuries.
And, bless our fans, too. May we do our jobs of supporting our team through the peaks and the valleys of this season. May we never forget from whence we came.
Through the intercession of the heavenly New Orleans Saints, St. Francis Cabrini, St. Katharine Drexel, Blessed Francis Seelos, Blessed John Paul II and Servant of God - Mother Henriette Delille, may the New Orleans Saints bring to the football field, the same courage and faith that these Saints brought to the streets of New Orleans.
With your grace, we will always be one Who Dat Nation under God.
This prayer was written for and The Times-Picayune by the Rev. R. Tony Ricard,Director of Campus Ministry, St. Augustine High Schooland New Orleans Saints Catholic team chaplain

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