A priest and pond hockey: SPS alum, parishioners add championship to accomplishments

Video courtesy FOX 9

Fr. Michael Daly doesn’t usually show up for Mass in full hockey gear.

Sunday provided a noteworthy exception.

Before and after celebrating 10 a.m. Mass, Daly took part in a championship-producing performance in the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships. The 2016 Saint Paul Seminary alum and current pastor at St. Helena in Minneapolis led a team of family members and parishioners to a title in one of the tournament’s several divisions.

“This is our first year, and we won it,” Daly told local news station FOX 9. “I had to miss part of the game because I had to celebrate Mass at St. Helena and came back.

“Our Lady Queen of Victory, pray for us. She provided.”

Played entirely outdoors, he U.S. Pond Hockey Championships draw hundreds of teams from all over the United States and Canada. In the event’s 17-year history, no Catholic Church-sponsored team had won a title before Sunday.

“Striving to imitate Jesus, we even shed some blood and a front tooth to earn the victories,” Daly said. “And in true hockey player fashion, the guys didn’t even miss a shift in doing so. After my brother, Patrick Daly, took a stick to the face in the semifinal game, he said, ‘I didn’t lose blood for nothing, we’re winning this thing!'”

Daly grew up in the Twin Cities before joining the seminary. He originally had plans to become a doctor like his father, but a college mission trip to Calcutta to serve with the Missionaries of Charity sparked a vocation that came to fruition with his ordination 5 years ago.

“Once I realized while I was applying for medical school that my application sounded more like a homily, it was pretty clear that God wanted me to be a divine physician rather than a healer of the body,” Daly said then.

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