Collars vs Scholars Lead Off Catholic Schools Night in Friendly Game to Promote Catholic Education

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Catholic Education, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Media, Queens, NY

by Katie Vasquez

It was a beautiful day for a ball game at Maimonides Park on Friday, June 21. But before the Brooklyn Cyclones took on the Jersey Shore Blue Claws, priests and Catholic school principals took to the field for the 5th Annual Collars vs. Scholars game.

The friendly face-off is a part of Catholic School Night, a celebration of Catholic education across Brooklyn and Queens. This game is a fan favorite for Diocese of Brooklyn students, but the two teams didn’t let the pressure stop them from enjoying the game.

“I’m delighted to be part of this,” said Bishop Paul Sanchez, pastor at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs. “It’s always a fun time.”

“It doesn’t matter about the score,” said Michael Phillips, principal at St. Ephrem Catholic Academy. “We’re all having fun. A three-inning game. It was just a fun time all around.”

In the end, the Scholars beat the Collars 11 to 1, but priests were still popular among the crowds.

People in the stands also walked away with a special bobblehead of Father James Kuroly, the rector and president of Cathedral Prep.

“It was a tremendous honor for me,” Father Kuroly said. “But really, the way that I look at it, it’s an opportunity to honor those to whom I serve at Cathedral Prep.”

However, Father Elvin Torres, parochial vicar for St. Sebastian Church, believes the game could serve a higher purpose.

“Those guys who are watching, who may be feeling the call to the priesthood, we welcome you and we are waiting for you,” Father Torres said. “We have fun. We enjoy it. We bring God to the field. That’s the whole point, right?”

The ultimate MVPs of the night were the students, as valedictorians and salutatorians were awarded for their hard work.

“It’s good to see young kids who’ve won amazing awards just gathered together,” said Kamsiyo Chukwu, the salutatorian at Sacred Heart Catholic Academy.

Superintendent of Schools, Deacon Kevin McCormack, said the key to these students’ success is their ability to work together as a team.

“What our kids have done all year long with their teachers, with the parish, with the administrators, with the staff, it’s always together,” Deacon McCormack said. “We come and create a family. That’s what makes our schools so terrific and wonderful.”