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Notre Dame and its Mormon star plan a pregame 'Hail Mary'

Published January 7, 2013 3:14 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Before the Fighting Irish take the field for Monday night's championship game against Alabama, players will attend a Catholic Mass, receive "a priest-blessed medal devoted to a Catholic saint," and "kiss a shrine containing two slivers Notre Dame believes came from Jesus' cross," according to a Huffinton Post article.

Such Catholic rituals will be on display — even though not all the players are believers.

Indeed, the team's star player, linebacker Manti Te'o, is Mormon.

The senior's LDS faith "hasn't been an issue," Notre Dame Athletics spokesman John Heisler told CNN. "The emphasis here is that this is a place of faith and it really doesn't matter what your faith is,"

Clearly, Te'o is comfortable with Cathlic rituals. The Wall Street Journal has a photo of the Mormon player being "blessed" by former Notre Dame President Father Theodore Hesburgh.

Though God may not care about the outcome of Monday's big game, lots of Notre Dame students, alumni and other Catholics believe that prayers and blessings couldn't hurt.

More than a few Mormons may be rooting for the same outcome.

Peggy Fletcher Stack