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Play Ball! DC Church mixes prayer with America's past time.

Play Ball! DC Church mixes prayer with America's past time. Read Transcript

One church in the nation's capital

saw an opportunity to score when thinking about fans

if they go to church before a baseball game.


BEN KENNEDY: Trading in dress clothes for baseball gear?

You heard it.

This is not your typical Sunday service.

They have it every--

We're going to baseball game.

BEN KENNEDY: You're going to a baseball game?

But before two-year-old Claire Dunlap can go to the game--

Are you going to go to church first?


BEN KENNEDY: --she attends service at St. Vincent de Paul,

just down the road from the National's ballpark.

In 2014, church leaders came up with the idea

as they watched fans walk by the chapel on Sundays.

That idea led to Nats Mass, which

starts about an hour and a half before game time.

FATHER ANDY GONZALO: That is the joy of it--

of the Nats Mass.

It's really bringing people together to worship

together as one family, knowing that it is first of all God.


I have, actually, witnessed some, who just said to me,

hello, father.

This was my first time to come to Mass.

But because I saw that sign, I came.

And that was so touching for me, as a priest.

BEN KENNEDY: Of course, Nats Mass even has its own hashtag,

aiming to get people talking about the service

across social media.

It's nice, too, because this is an outreach, as well,

because we can talk about how we went to Nats Mass

before we went to a ballgame.

BEN KENNEDY: And this Nats service is open to both sides.

And the other team--

BEN KENNEDY: So you don't turn away the opponents?

No, no, no, no.

We don't.

[LAUGHING] They are all welcome.

They are all welcome.


Because it's a worship.

It's the Mass.

It's to give thanks to the Lord.

We're rooting for finding God in fellowship,

and friendship, and hopefully a great game

where everybody can have a good time.


attended the first Nats Mass, which drew only five people.

Three years later, that number has grown into more than 100.

A grand slam for St. Vincent de Paul,

sharing God's message one pitch at a time.

ANNOUNCER: [INAUDIBLE] sends one out of here!

To help get the word out on Nats Mass,

church leaders put up two big banners along the bell tower

here behind me, hoping fans will slide into service

before that first pitch.

For CBN News, I'm Ben Kennedy in Washington.


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