Holy Cross priests found a genius way to invite fans to Mass after football games.
Notre Dame football games are the stuff of legend, from “Touchdown Jesus” to the players’ helmets painted with real gold. If you’ve been to Notre Dame stadium anytime in the past decade, you may have noticed a simple announcement inviting the stadium full of fans to attend Mass after the game, offered at many locations on campus. But recently, this announcement has taken a unique and brilliant twist: a “Mass hype video,” modeled on football hype videos that get fans pumped up before a big game.
“We have this great capacity to invite 80,000 people to Mass in one fell swoop,” said Fr. Pete McCormick, C.S.C., who appears in the video.
The video weaves together clips of McCormick preparing for and celebrating Mass with clips of fans and players around campus preparing for football games, all set to upbeat and inspirational music.
“There was always an announcement inviting everyone to attend Mass after the game, but we thought maybe we could get more creative about this approach,” McCormick said. “We wanted it to fit the energy of the football game environment and the mindset people were in, so we came up with this concept.”
It’s hard not to get chills watching this video, especially when the narrator says, “You are called, you are known, and you are loved” just as McCormick is shown elevating the Blessed Sacrament during the Consecration at Mass. If you think about it, doesn’t the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass warrant far more enthusiasm and excitement than any sports game? This video seems to gently point viewers toward this moving truth.
Seen in person at the stadium, the video makes a moving impression—not least because the student section of the stadium famously erupts into cheers every time the video comes on. Thousands of college students cheering for a priest celebrating Mass is a heartwarming sight that’s not easy to forget.
This immensely positive reaction led McCormick to write a heartfelt Letter to the Editor in the campus student newspaper, in which he reflected on his years of service to the Notre Dame community:
I have been powerfully impacted by the student body. I love so deeply how much you care and how you look out for one another. I so admire the genuine ways that you pursue your studies and leadership opportunities with the sincere hope that you will make an impact in the world more broadly … Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for all you are and all that you will become. May God bless you now and always.
Most important of all, of course, the video is getting people to go to Mass, including people who have been away from the Church for years.
“There are lots of reasons people might not have gone to Mass in a long time, but we hope they can feel welcomed,” McCormick said. “We hope that people feel a genuine invitation. We offer the most full-throated welcome we can give, and we’re so grateful that so many people respond so positively to Mass.”
You can watch the Mass hype video below or on YouTube: