October 31, 2019
Monsignor Rossetti blessing the Nationals' baseball bat

On Sunday, Oct. 27, in a conference room at Nationals Park, Monsignor Stephen Rossetti celebrated Mass for the team and staff of the Washington Nationals. At that point, the team was tied with Houston in the World Series. After Mass, Monsignor Rossetti joined fans in the stands and thumbed his rosary beads as the Nationals lost their third game in a row, all at home.

“The players and I realize that just because we pray and hope to win, it doesn’t mean that God will have us win,” the priest says. “But we do believe that God is with us and will strengthen and love us no matter what may come.”

But, “God has a pretty good idea who I’m rooting for,” remarked Monsignor Rossetti before the World Series. The priest is a research professor of pastoral studies at Catholic University. 

The Catholic chaplain for the team sees this group of athletes as examples not just within their sport, but to everyone. Their entire season was “plagued with heart breaks, injuries and challenges,” he says. “The outside world never considered the Nats as serious contenders for the World Series. But they believed they could do it and prayed to God for the strength to ‘Stay in the Fight.’ They faced four elimination games and came from behind again and again to win these last ditch efforts. 

“Their witness is an inspiration not only to others in baseball but to all of us: Stay in the Fight.  This season carries a spiritual message and shows us how baseball, or any human endeavor, can truly be an inspired and grace-filled moment.”

Read more about how Monsignor Rossetti became Nationals’ Catholic chaplain.