Ya Gotta Believe: One Church and One Team Connects Visiting Priest to Brooklyn Diocese

Tags: Currents Diocese of Brooklyn, Sports

By Tim Harfmann

A couple of priests enjoyed watching a New York Mets baseball game on Sunday July 28.

“If they lose, we pray for them. If they win, we celebrate with them,” said Father Martin Adjei. He’s from Ghana and is helping out in the Brooklyn diocese for the summer.

He got hooked on baseball through Father Ed Kachurka, the pastor at Mary’s Nativity-Saint Ann parish in Flushing. That is where Father Martin is assigned.

Father Martin is among the 80 clergy from all over the world who are pitching in this summer, giving the priests of Brooklyn and Queens time to go on vacation or go on retreat.

He made his first visit to the U.S. last summer, and that’s when Father Kachurka had an idea.

“I said, ‘would you like to go to a ballgame and experience baseball here in America?” asked Father Kachurka.

“The first reaction was, ‘what is it about?” Father Martin responded.

He became a fan of the game and quickly set out to learn the rules of baseball.

“There are pitchers, there are catchers; there’s a lot of running and a lot of rules. You have nine innings in the game, and at the end there is a loser and there is a winner,” said Father Martin.

When he returned to Ghana last fall, the priests stayed connected on social media. Their favorite topics were baseball and the Mets.

Father Martin is also on top of what’s happening in the Brooklyn diocese year-round, thanks to the daily newsletters from The Tablet and Currents News.

“This has become my second home. I don’t want to be out of date, let me know what goes on, what Bishop DiMarzio says, what is going on in the diocese so when I come; I will be well integrated in the diocese.”

“He’s a big part of the parish now,” said Father Kachurka. “There was actually a countdown by parishioners, counting the days when he was going to be coming back. That’s how much he’s been loved.”

“The Church is one,” said Father Martin. “Whether in Ghana, in my diocese of Goaso, or in the Brooklyn diocese of New York, the Church is one.”

One Church and one team, for when it comes to the visiting priest – ‘Ya Gotta Believe.’