Catholic Athletes for Christ
The First Name in Catholic Sports Ministry

    Piazza HOFCatholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) congratulates Mike Piazza on his election to Baseball’s Hall of Fame on January 6.  Piazza will be inducted, along with Ken Griffey, Jr., on July 24 in Cooperstown, N.Y.  Toward the end of his career, as well as throughout his retirement from the game, Piazza has been active in promoting and advancing CAC’s activities, especially its Major League Baseball ministry.

    CAC’s President and Founder Ray McKenna said, “On behalf of everyone associated with Catholic Athletes for Christ, I send sincere and heartfelt congratulations to Mike upon his election to the Hall of Fame.  This honor is well-deserved as Mike is undoubtedly the greatest hitting catcher of all time.  Beyond his many baseball achievements, he is true representative of CAC and the Catholic church.  Mike is a very active CAC Board Member and his maturity of faith, hard work, and the grace of God have brought him to milestone achievement.”

    CAC_Stammen_01On Sunday evening December 13, Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) will be hosting its fifth annual Courage Awards reception to recognize major league baseball’s Craig Stammen for his distinguished athletic achievement and also for boldly sharing the Catholic faith. The event also honors high school and college senior student-athletes in the Arlington (Va.) Diocese.

    The event will take place at Marymount University in Arlington, Va., beginning at 5:30 p.m. (click here for flyer). Tickets may also be purchased in advance (see below).

    Stammen, a relief pitcher formerly with the Washington Nationals, is being honored for leading the Nationals Catholic ministry since his arrival to the team in 2009 and also serving the local Catholic community throughout his time in Washington, but especially in 2015 by speaking regularly to Catholic students at Arlington Diocese elementary and high schools.  In addition, Craig was instrumental in the success of CAC’s Catholic Baseball Camp held at Paul VI High School on July 24.  Craig suffered a season-ending injury in 2015 and used this opportunity to advance his evangelization efforts.






    2015 CAC Courage Award Reception, December 13, 2015


    CAC’s Board Member and NFL Outreach Coordinator Linda Del Rio was recently featured on’s “NFL Wife Spotlight”.  Click here to read Linda’s story and learn about the great service work that she is performing to assist the less fortunate.

    The Del Rio Family

    CAC’s President and Founder Ray McKenna was interviewed by Iowa Catholic Radio on September 4 to discuss CAC’s mission and Trent Beattie’s new book, Fit for Heaven, which highlights Catholic athletes and how they integrate their sporting lives with their deeply held Catholic beliefs.

    To listen to the interview, click here.

    CLICK HERE to read an article in the new issue of “Inside the Vatican” magazine, where three of CAC’s Major League Baseball (MLB) players — Mike Piazza, Craig Stammen, and Mike Sweeney — welcome Pope Francis on his upcoming visit to the United States and share their collective message of being “Athletes for Christ”.


    Inside the Vatican

    Congratulations to CAC’s Mike Sweeney on his induction into the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame on August 15, 2015.  Click here to watch video of Mike induction ceremony.

    Seattle Mariners vs Kansas City Royals - April 11, 2005




    For photographs from the July 24 CAC Catholic Baseball Camp, click here.

    The camp was also covered by the Arlington Catholic Herald newspaper.  Click here to read the article recapping the camp.

    Click here to read the new Summer 2015 issue of the CAC e-newsletter “Cathlete News”!

    More than 80 campers participated in the first CAC Catholic Baseball Camp in Fairfax, Va.

    More than 80 campers participated in the first CAC Catholic Baseball Camp in Fairfax, Va.

    On July 24, more than 80 boys and girls from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area participated in CAC’s Catholic Baseball Camp at Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Va.  The day included Mass, talks/Q&A, and baseball instruction from current and former professional and collegiate baseball players.  Washington Nationals pitcher Craig Stammen spoke to the campers after Mass about how his faith has influenced his life and his baseball career.  Baseball instruction was led by Stammen, Tom Carroll (Cincinnati Reds), Jim Hannan (Washington Senators, Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers), Billy Emerson and Jeff Nolan (Paul VI High School), and members of the DC Padres priest/seminarian baseball team, led by Father Andrew Fisher (Arlington Diocese Liaison to CAC).  CAC presented one camper who best exhibited love of God and love of Baseball with the Mike Sweeney, Sr. Courage Award.

    “Today’s camp exceeded our expectations,” said CAC President/Founder Ray McKenna.  “The turnout was incredible and we received nothing but positive feedback from campers and parents and requests to do this again next year.  We are especially grateful to all of our camp instructors for their hard work on the field and to the Paul VI High School community for their hospitality.”

    An example of the feedback received immediately following the camp:

    “My husband brought our son to the Catholic athletes for Christ camp today. Both my husband and son were, and still are, very excited about the whole day. My son was nervous so my husband attended Mass with him and he said it was wonderful.  The two of them were both impressed with Craig Stammen’s talk after Mass.  My son is still talking about working with Tom Carroll and Jim Hannan.  They were also very impressed with the priests from the DC Padres.  My son did not think the priests could do anything that fun and felt it was awesome that they could still play baseball.  Thank you so much for coordinating this event.  Please send a heartfelt thank you to all of those who helped with today’s event.  We look forward to attending next year!”

    Washington Nationals pitcher Craig Stammen teaches pitching skills to a group of younger campers

    Washington Nationals pitcher Craig Stammen teaches pitching skills to a group of younger campers

    Earlier this year, Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) made several presentations at two major Catholic sports conferences in the United States and Italy.

    In May, CAC President and Founder Ray McKenna was invited by the Vatican Pontifical Council for the Laity to speak at its International Seminar “Coaches: Educating People”.  The title of McKenna’s presentation was “Training the Coach and Coaching the Trainer“.  Also attending the two-day event in Rome representing CAC were Linda Del Rio, CAC Board Member and NFL Outreach Coordinator, and Darrell Miller, former Major League Baseball player and currently MLB vice president of youth and facility development.

    Del Rio made a presentation on the second day of the Vatican seminar titled, “Rising to the Call Takes Character and Virtue“.  In her presentation, Del Rio spoke on the need for a framework for coaches that exhibits effective coaching techniques, spirituality, and moral development.  “As St. Therese demonstrated, it’s in the little details, a small kind jester of kindness and compassion in a fierce competition is huge in they eye of the beholder,” Del Rio said.  “Let us globally answer this call of character and virtue in sport and work together united in Christ.”

    In April, McKenna and CAC were featured at the 41st Conference on Value Inquiry: Sports and Values, hosted by Neumann University’s Institute for Sport, Spirituality, and Character Development located just outside of Philadelphia, Pa.  At that conference, McKenna spoke on Sports, Values, and Societal Change.


    CAC President Ray McKenna shakes hands with Pope Francis in Rome in May 2015



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