Editor Emeritus - Ed Wilkinson

Mass and a Ballgame Provide Doubleheader at Citi Field

You haven’t gotten your tickets yet for Catholic Day at Citi Field, don’t put it off for another day.

Quinton Aaron, the actor who played football player Michael Oher in “The Blind Side,” is the latest celebrity to sign on to the big event at the Flushing ballpark that serves as the home of the New York Mets.

Organized by DeSales Media Group and the Mets, Catholic Day will be celebrated on Saturday, Sept. 9, beginning with Mass on the field at 9:45 a.m. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio will be the main celebrant and he will be joined by at least 20 other diocesan priests.

Before Mass, a program of religious music will be provided by local liturgical artist Alverlis.

Catholic Day is a major event of the Year of Vocations called by Bishop DiMarzio to encourage young people to think about their calling in life, especially if they feel they are thinking about the priesthood and religious life.

Following Mass, a full day of activities is being planned in the Marina East section of the parking field. Games are being organized.

At 4 p.m., entertainment will begin on two specially built stages. Actress Jen Gotzon (“Nixon Frost,” “Doonby”) will serve as emcee. Music will be provided by nine local musical groups.   Among them will be Gabriella Palminteri, daughter of actor Chazz Palminteri. Special surprise guests are still being worked out.

Also on hand will be actors Joe Estevez and Anthony Mangano, plus inspirational speaker Joe Manno.

Craig Tubiolo, who is directing DeSales Media’s efforts, says that about 4,000 young people are expected to attend. Participating groups to date include CYO, the Jornada movement, and various parish youth ministries.

All ticket holders can attend the Mets-Cincinnati Reds ballgame at 7:10 p.m.

The Mass will be broadcast live on NET-TV with Currents anchor Liz Faublas at the anchor desk and Currents reporters providing live reports throughout the day.

During the day, a number of diocesan bishops and priests will be available for discussions or the sacrament of penance in specially designated areas.

“We’re hoping this will be an annual event,” says Tubiolo. “It’s meant to be a spiritual event, but it also is going to be a lot of fun.”

Tickets can be purchased by logging on to mets.com/CatholicNight. For groups of 15 or more, call Young Choi at 718-559-3027 or email YCHOI@NYMETS.com. See the ad on Page 12.

Among the other major sponsors of Catholic Day are St. Francis College of Brooklyn; The Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens; Cathedral Prep and Seminary, Elmhurst; and the Long Island Chapter of the Knights of Columbus.

Of course, Tablet reporters will be circulating throughout the stands and entertainment area to bring you all the coverage in the following week’s paper. See you at Citi Field!