STEUBENVILLE, OH—It isn’t uncommon for sports icons to become tainted in the public eye by scandal and greed. So how can the Catholic athlete become successful in the sports world while remaining true to his or her Christian principles?
For Chicago Bears owner Pat McCaskey, the key is in seeing faith as a central stepping stone toward becoming a better person. The Chicago Bears, for instance, regularly bring in inspiring men and women with stories that encourage the team to embrace their fullest potential. In McCaskey’s words, “We don't force-feed anyone, but faith is fundamental to our caretaking efforts.”
On Monday, March 4, sports fans and non-sports fans alike will learn how to spread the Gospel message through one’s own calling when Pat McCaskey speaks at Franciscan University of Steubenville. The event will be held in the Gentile Gallery, J.C. Williams Center, at 7:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public.
“Franciscan University athletics is proud to be associated with people like Pat McCaskey because we also want to encourage our athletes to seek virtue in their sports endeavors. And, like Pat McCaskey, we don’t believe that they’re mutually exclusive,” says Chris Ledyard, director of Athletics at Franciscan University, who met McCaskey several years ago at Sports Faith International.
Pat McCaskey, grandson of Bears founder George “Papa” Halas, began working for the Chicago Bears in 1974. He is chairman and founder of Sports Faith International, an initiative that recognizes people who are successful in sports while leading exemplary lives. He holds a BA from Indiana University and an MA from DePaul University, and has been knighted in the international charitable order of Saint Stanislaus.
McCaskey is also the author of two books: Bear With Me: A Family History of George Halas and the Chicago Bears, and Sports and Faith: Stories of the Devoted and the Devout. He and his wife, Gretchen, live in Illinois and have three sons.