These days, Catholics in St. Louis are singing a different kind of “Gloria.”
No, not the angelic hymn of praise to God the Holy Trinity we sing at Mass, but the odd hit single from the 1980s by the late Laura Branigan.
But they have a good reason. For the first time in 49 years, the St. Louis Blues are headed to the Stanley Cup finals.
Our city has caught Blues fever with fervor. Even Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, not a native of St. Louis but no stranger to hockey as a Minnesota native, exclaimed at the end of his May 22 State of the Archdiocese address to employees: “Go Blues!”
One of the best traditions in sports is when an NHL playoff series ends, players from both sides form lines at center ice and shake hands. The level of sportsmanship is admirable. And we sure hope the Blues get to be on the winning side of the handshake at the end of it all.
Hard as it may be, we must do our best to extend courtesy to our brothers and sisters from Boston whose teams have previously defeated our St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Rams (ugh) and even the St. Louis Hawks basketball team. The last time each of these teams, including the Blues, were in a playoff final against a Boston team, St. Louis lost. We’re overdue for a victory, and there’s no sin in hoping that the Bruins lose — even when we extend our radical hospitality to Boston fans visiting the Rome of the West for the games here.
Many people had given up on the Blues, who in January were the worst team in the NHL. It’s a lesson in perseverance and never giving up. It’s a lesson that we certainly could apply to our lives, and especially our faith. There’s always hope. For Catholics, that hopes lies in Jesus. And, for #CatholicSTL, in the Blues, too.
So for now, we pray that the Blues emerge victoriously — and with mercy for the Bruins.