We were really inspired by the film and its potential to turn people to Christ and the sacraments. So we responded to the opportunity Catholic Exchange presented. It was a wonderful project and it worked out well for us. We feel very blessed.
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Minot, ND (Vocus) July 9, 2009
Baseball hero Mike Piazza is known and loved for more than just his baseball stats. The recently-retired champion of the game is also a "Champion of Faith," having been featured in Catholic Exchange's groundbreaking film of the same name. Piazza, a devout Catholic, will travel to Minot, ND, in July to discuss the importance of living and sharing one's faith, no matter one's circumstances or station in life.
The event will feature a screening of the multi-award winning Champions of Faith: Baseball Edition, which showcases the intersection of sports and faith in Major League Baseball by profiling many of the most accomplished and devout figures in the game, both on and off the field. Speaking of his role in the film, Piazza said, "I've had some great moments in my life, but being a part of this and being able to tell people my story is one of my proudest moments."
Last year, Catholic Exchange launched a nationwide contest in which parishes sold copies of the Champions of Faith: Baseball DVD as a fundraiser and means of direct evangelization. The winning parish was awarded the opportunity to host a player of its choice for a public event. St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in the Diocese of Bismarck, ND, rose to the challenge and placed first in the competition, and chose Mike Piazza to come and speak here in Minot.
Fr. David Zimmer, pastor of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, could not be more proud of his faith-filled parish community. "I can't say enough about our people here at St. John the Apostle," he said. "We were really inspired by the film and its potential to turn people to Christ and the sacraments. So we responded to the opportunity Catholic Exchange presented. It was a wonderful project and it worked out well for us. We feel very blessed."
Tom Allen, president of Catholic Exchange and executive producer and director of Champions of Faith: Baseball and its acclaimed sequel, Champions of Faith: The Bases of Life, will also attend the event. Allen keynoted an event for Fr. Zimmer last year on the topic of stewardship, addressing a diocese-wide audience in Minot. The event left a lasting impression. "Fr. Zimmer and the people of the diocese received me very warmly last year and I'm eager to get back. I got to know some of the service men and women and their families and, frankly, found them to be as inspiring as the ballplayers in our film!"
St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Minot, ND, is sponsoring the event, which will take place on July 19, 2009 at the Holiday Inn Riverside. The doors will open at 2:30pm and the event will take place from 3:00pm - 6:00pm. No reservations are necessary. Please contact St. John the Apostle Catholic Church at 701-839-7076 if you have questions. The Holiday Inn Riverside is located at 2200 Burdick Expressway East, Minot, ND.
To schedule an interview or for information on press attending the event, please contact Ashley Walker at 678-990-9032. High-Resolution images are available for media outlets.