Fr. Tony Ricard is one of our New Orleans Arcdiocesan Priests and the chaplain on the New Orleans Saints. He composed the following prayer for the Saints in this wonderful year:
Good and gracious God,
just as the nation of Israel stood on the banks of the river Jordan, we the Who Dat Nation now stand on the banks of the Mississippi, filled with joyful anticipation. We stand on these banks looking back from whence we came. Although we do not share a history of slavery in Egypt, we do share a common history of pain and heartache.
We remember the National Football League Season of 1980 and our downtrodden days of 1-and-15. We repent for our shameful past of wearing bags on our heads, forgetting that you were on our side. We recall the days when instead of looking forward to the playoffs, we could only look at each other and tearfully say, "Wait 'til next year."
Indeed, we have been through a long journey through the desert of athletic despair. But as we stand on these banks today, we know that our days in the desert are over.
Just like the Hebrew children, our 40 years of wandering in the desert have come to an end. With eyes of faith, we can see the promised land! We can taste the Super Bowl! And, yes Lord, we believe.
Lord, it is our time to claim the blessings that you promised our ancestors. In the name of Hap Glaudi, Jim Finks and Buddy Diliberto we now claim our rightful place among the elite teams in the NFL.
Through the prayers and guidance of our elders Tom and Gayle Benson, and the leadership of Rita Benson LeBlanc, we have become the strong nation that you, our God, have always intended us to be.
We, the Who Dat Nation, are ready to do what was often considered impossible. We are ready to march around the city of New Orleans, as Joshua marched around Jericho. We are ready to band together in a spirited dance, as David did in Jerusalem. We are ready to walk together united, as the Israelites walked across the dry bed of the river Jordan. But, we need you to hold back the waters of doubt, just as you held back the waters of the Jordan.
Endowed with Your amazing grace, we formally begin our march to the Super Bowl!
With the faith of our ancestors, we call down the power of God to strengthen our players and coaches.
With the courage of our elders, we call down the protection of the angels to guard them from major injuries.
With four decades of hope, we call down the presence of the heavenly saints to lead the New Orleans Saints onto the battlefield of the gridiron.
We thank you for giving us a taste of what is to come. But, now we are ready for the banquet. We have proven ourselves worthy of your grace.Now, through your providence, may we, the Who Dat Nation, finally reach the Promised Land.
The Rev. R. Tony Ricard
Pastor, Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish
Pause for Prayer: HOLY SATURDAY
52 minutes ago