Before His Kick Won the Super Bowl, He Told Students His Life’s Bigger Aim

The spiritual challenges men are facing are even greater than the battle for the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl LVII, according to two Catholic leaders on the Kansas City Chiefs.

If you are from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, the Super Bowl was special this year. A friend of the college kicked the winning field goal — and an alumnus of the college was there for the team.

As the clock wound down on the final minutes of Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12, Harrison Butker kicked a field goal bringing the score to 38-35 and making the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Champions.

Butker has been a frequent visit to Benedictine College, attending events with Bishop Robert Barron and speaking on campus to give his thoughts, as he put it, on “faith, family, and football, in that order.” See his entire discussion below, or here.

“This is a blessing for me,” he said at the end of his presentation in May. “I’ve heard so many great things about Benedictine College. I’m glad to be here. Please pray for me — the more prayers the better.”

Prayers for his football game have been fruitful, according to Catholics on social media who noticed that his scapular — a Carmelite sign of devotion to Our Lady worn around the neck — was showing when he kicked the Super-Bowl-winning field goal (shown).

Beyond prayers for football, though, Butker said, “I firmly believe that these prayers are helping God’s will to be done,” and told students, “if you have any mentors — people in the world that you look up to — please pray for them, because it can be a lonely time having to be that leader at the top.”

One mentor to Catholics on the Chiefs is Father Richard Rocha, the Benedictine College alumnus who serves as team chaplain.

The Knights of Columbus released a video focusing on Father Rocha (watch it below) featuring Jonathan Reyes, a longtime friend of Benedictine College and a current Raven parent.

Father Rocha said that one of his major messages is about spiritual threats.

He tells players: “The devil is after you men — especially you husbands, you fathers. If he can tear down and turn away a husband and a father from God, then he can ruin a whole family. Men, you know God wants you to be good strong men. Not just on the field, but off the field with your families. It’s so important because, wow, the world needs our Lord. We need a savior.”

Rocha remembers being called out of his work as a football coach and into the priesthood, “to coach on God’s team!”

Father Rocha told Reyes he leads the team not just by celebrating Mass, but also by providing the sacrament of confession. “I’ve also had I’ve had some weddings of some of the Chiefs players. I’ve done baptisms. That’s the wonderful thing … being able to baptize uh their children.”

Butker has received Rocha’s message.

“I’m not praying about the Super Bowl,” he said. “I pray for myself to be a good husband and father.”

He told Benedictine College football players and students to “strive to be a saint” by trying to live “a pure and saintly life.”


Editorial Staff

Benedictine College’s mission can Transform Culture in America by modeling community in an age of incivility, spreading faith in an age of hopelessness, and committing to scholarship in a “post-truth” era. We create video and other media content to promote positive messages of faith, hope, and love while Ex Corde Media Fellows program provides students with the tools, experiences, and contacts they need to enter the 21st century media world as effective communicators. Learn about the Ex Corde Media Fellows program.