Most avid sports fans in St. Louis probably know about the Cardinal Way, or at least they're familiar with the concept.
The Cardinal Way refers to the right way of playing baseball, knowing and executing subtle strategies such as throwing to the correct base, hitting a cut-off man or hitting behind a baserunner.
All one need do is take in a game to see it in action.
In a similar fashion, the Catholic Way describes the way in which a Catholic does the right things, but you'll almost never see it in action.
The Catholic Way usually is performed discreetly, under the radar, without fanfare and with humility — good works for the sake of good works and not for look-at-me attention such as the Pharisees mentioned in Scripture, taking seats of honor so people would see them.
St. Joseph Radio wants to flash a little bit of a spotlight on these quiet and reluctant heroes with its second annual Catholic Man of the Year Award, to be presented by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson at an awards dinner on Sunday, March 26, at the Frontenac Hilton. Catholic laymen are eligible for the award, with nominations open through Wednesday, March 1.
The purpose of the award isn't about giving attention to a Catholic man, but perhaps inspiring other men to do similar good works in their parishes or the greater Church.
"We're looking for very good, faithful Catholic men who have devoted their time and volunteered for different things outside of just going to church on Sundays, so they can be a light and example for other men," said Deacon Tim Dallas, the director of evangelization locally for St. Joseph Radio.
Randy Eaton served that purpose last year in accepting the archdiocese's inaugural Catholic Man of the Year Award. After seeing a student without a coat, the parishioner at St. James in Potosi started a "backpack ministry," procuring clothing, backpacks and more for students in need.
"After the award ceremony last year, we had men saying, 'I should be doing more,'" Deacon Dallas said. "I'd (ask), 'How'd you like it?' and they'd say, 'It made me realize I'm not doing enough in my parish.'"
A lifelong St. Louisan, Deacon Dallas understands the Cardinal Way and, as a deacon since 2010, the Catholic Way.
"It's like Jesus said, 'Don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,'" Deacon Dallas said. "But this is a great way to inspire other men to do more for their parishes."
>> Catholic Man of the Year
Who • A Catholic layman performing great service as a volunteer in his parish or in the archdiocese
When • Nominations are open through Wednesday, March 1; the awards dinner will be at 5 p.m. Sunday, March 26, with reservations open through Monday, March 13
Where • Frontenac Hilton
Sponsor • St. Joseph Radio (www.saintjosephradio.net)
Nominations/registration • Visit www.stlouisreview.com/bd2, call (636) 447-6000, or go in-person to 3920 S. Old Highway 94 # 36, St. Charles 63304