Mike Gutelius

Episode 21

24 JUN 2019

The head football coach at The Catholic University of America, which is located in our nation’s capital, although he has – in his words – experienced the differences of being a practicing Catholic in seven states and the District of Columbia.  He is a lector in his current parish and did so – along with being the Chair of the Finance Council – at his previous parish as well.  He begins his third season at Catholic University of America in 2019.  In his first season the team tied a program record with three d3football.com all-region players, the most for Catholic University of America in nine years.

Guest Quotes:

“I’ve landed in some other places where… be it a state school, where you weren’t even allowed to talk about God because that could be seen as some sort of endorsement.”

“I had to, carefully, without offending anybody, walk through the fact that what we wanted to receive was the true body, blood, soul and divinity, not just some sort of protestant representation of it.”

“The requirements to work here are that you will not undermine the church’s mission or its teachings by the way you live your life.”

“We’ll recruit in many areas where the Catholic tradition is strong… but if you go … down into southern Virginia and North Carolina, you can wind up sitting in someone’s living room and having to explain to them many of the misconceptions they have about the Catholic faith.”

“The one thing you have to be willing to do if you’re going to come here as a student is you have to be ready to think about bigger things, like ‘Why am I here,’ ‘How do I serve.’  If you’re open to all of that, then you won’t have any trouble with the strength of the faith that’s here.”

“This is a sport where you have to surrender to something greater, the team, and to me it runs a very strong parallel to what being a good Christian is.  Being a good Catholic you have to pick up your cross, and if you’re going to play football you better suffer and you better be team first and you better make sure that you’re not the biggest thing in your life… And then you look at Catholic teaching and see how that fits with the gospel message of service and Jesus being the greatest thing and you’re just a worker.”

“Last year the way I did it in the (team) meetings was, I did the four cardinal virtues and showed how employing those, one, would make you a great teammate and leader, but, also help you in every other part of your life.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m here to win… but I’m here in a bigger sense because we need young men to be strong in their faith and to understand what the church really teaches.”

“We started doing a Bible study on Monday nights during the season with the guys.  And something I like to do is, Friday nights on the week after a win… we always will say a rosary with the guys who want to come.”

“We ask a lot of our athletes, so I don’t want to overtax them.  But there certainly is opportunities for them to serve and to help and to give back and provide very concrete works of mercy to people in this city.”

Related links:

Catholic University of America football

(This episode contains a prayer from the South Bend Indiana Inner-City Catholic League, as seen in Play Like A Champion Today’s prayerbook for sports, God, Be In My Sport)

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