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Saint Anne Pastor Rings Church Bells at Midnight to Celebrate Cubs World Series Championship

Saint Anne Pastor Rings Church Bells at Midnight to Celebrate Cubs World Series Championship

Home Newsroom Saint Anne Pastor Rings Church Bells at Midnight to Celebrate Cubs World Series Championship

What was going through Pastor Bernie Pietrzak’s mind as he rang the Saint Anne church bells at midnight after the Chicago Cubs won the World Series? Let’s just say the spirit moved him when over a century of prayers finally paid off. In a moment of sheer joy, Father Bernie fired up those bells, adding to the symphony of celebratory fireworks heard all over town. Yes, it was a little late at night to be raising a ruckus at the church. But faith has its rewards and, after waiting 108 years for a Cubs Championship, anything goes!

Father Bernie has been praying for the Chicago Cubs for decades. He’s been a Cubs devotee since he was a kid living in the land of Sox fans. “Growing up on Chicago’s South Side, I took a lot of harassment and abuse from Sox fans over my love of the Cubs.”

For Father Bernie, standing up to those Sox fans has always been family affair. “My grandfather and his brothers were Cubs fans, my father was a Cubs fan. I recall so well going to Cubs games with uncles, cousins and my dad. One of the great memories I cherish is going with my dad to the ballpark as he was getting older, especially during that last year of his life when he had cancer. Watching the Cubs together was a very powerful thing.”

post-1200-father-bernie-cubs-world-seriesFather Bernie was rejoicing with his cousin at Wrigley when the Cubs won Game 5. But he was counting on the power of prayer (and perhaps little divine intervention) when Cleveland came from behind to tie up Game 7, sending the players into extra innings with a dramatic rain delay. “I think there were some challenging moments. I didn’t quite understand some of Joe Maddon’s pitching choices. You just felt like we had it won and then all of a sudden, Cleveland tied it up. It was incredible to watch. ”

Despite Cleveland’s rally, Fr. Bernie says he never stopped believing. “When you’re a Cubs fan for as long as I have been you consider their history. This is a different team made up of very young, talented players with incredible veteran leadership and, of course, Joe Maddon, the ‘pastor’ of the Cubs. They have that energy and team spirit where you win together, you lose together and you move forward together. I just knew the Cubs were going to win it.”

My favorite part of Father Bernie’s take is how he draws a connection between faith, hope and the Chicago Cubs. Not only does he refer to Joe Maddon as the team’s “pastor”, he speaks with reverence of the ballpark itself, a beloved gathering place for generations of believers.

“Wrigley is a beautiful, pastoral setting. It’s an incredible baseball park with that cathedral feel, there’s no question about it.” And Father Bernie says that with the game of baseball, and especially with the Chicago Cubs, there’s an underlying message of eternal hope. “The Easter mystery in the Christian faith tradition is always about dying and rising. There’s an element of faith present when you’re just hanging in there with the promise that, in the midst of suffering, we will always rise again.”

By the way, no matter what your religion, you’ll get a kick out of this. Before the World Series win last Wednesday night, Father Bernie sent an email to the families at Saint Anne Parish School requesting everyone join him in this (slightly modified) prayer…

Infant Jesus of Prague Novena Prayer

O Jesus, Who has said, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened,” through the intercession of Mary, Your Most Holy Mother, I knock, I seek, I ask that my prayer be granted.

Lord, this team is legitimately excellent; please help the Cubs win tonight!

O Jesus, Who has said, “All that you ask of the Father in My Name, He will grant you,” through the intercession of Mary Your Most Holy Mother, I humbly and urgently ask your Father in your name that my prayer will be granted.

Lord, this team is legitimately excellent; please help the Cubs win tonight!

O Jesus, Who has said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away but My word shall not pass away,” through the intercession of Mary Your Most Holy Mother, I feel confident that my prayer will be granted.

Lord, this team is legitimately excellent; please help the Cubs win tonight!

AMEN and Hallelujah!

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