It is not everyday that you get to say a current altar server won the Super Bowl, but with Harrison Butker, now we can say that for the second time in four seasons!
And this time, Harrison Butker's field goal were the Super Bowl winning points that put the Kansas City Chiefs up 38-35 over the Philadelphia Eagles, with just 8 seconds left in the fourth and final quarter.
For those who have yet to be introduced to this very Catholic NFL star, you can watch this great 12 minute video from 2019 with this link here.
Harrison Butker is a very unique individual because he not only keeps his Catholic Faith like many professional athletes such as the late great NBA star, Kobe Bryant, but he also is a current altar server and a Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) goer.
Most people often think of altar serving as being reserved for the younger kids up to high school, but if you go to Saint Mary's Catholic Church in Independence, Missouri, you may just find a 27-year-old and now 2-time winning Super Bowl winner up on the altar as well!
And perhaps, it is Harrison Butker's time at the oldest parish (1823) in the Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph that has made Harrison Butker such a defender of tradition in our Church.
Place Kicker Turned Defender (of TLM)
Harrison Butker spoke out against the recent restrictions coming from the Holy See on TLM, specifically Traditionis custodes, and did so during the lead up to the Super Bowl.
On why he has chosen to speak out in favor of TLM and against its restrictions, Harrison Butker said, "[m]y success in football has given me a pedestal and I feel a responsibility to raise awareness to different issues that I think God wants me to bring to the forefront. And the Traditional Latin Mass is definitely one of them. It’s an issue that I'm passionate about, and again, I feel I need to bring a voice to a lot of people who are frustrated, who feel like they're outcasted, and who don't have the outlet to say anything."
The Importance of Confession
Harrison Butker had a more difficult season this year, having his lowest percentage made of field goals during his NFL career (still a high percentage), and he even missed a 42 yard field goal in the first quarter of the Super Bowl this past Sunday.
Yet, Harrison Butker was able to recover and was perfect from there on out to lead the Chiefs to another Super Bowl.
Perhaps, it was Harrison Butker's religious journey that gave him the greatest tool to recover from failure, and that is his love for the Sacrament of Confession.
In fact, it is this sacrament that brought Harrison Butker back into his faith the most while playing for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in college.
The ability of us to rejuvenate our Faith is a great way for us to rejuvenate our work when we mess up. It is about getting back up and continuing because life will throw you down many times.
Harrison Butker is definitely not the only Catholic Super Bowl winner from this past Sunday, but given his prominent Catholic action, he seemed the perfect player to highlight.
In fact, Harrison Butker is such a prominent Catholic that even was asked to say what he would tell Pope Francis in a private meeting if he ever got the chance to in response to Traditionis custodes: "Holy Father, all the Catholics that I've been around that have a devotion to the Traditional Latin Mass and the traditional sacraments, they want to be saints. They want to get their children to heaven. They're not trying to have this big revolt against the Church. They're not denying the papacy. They love being Catholic and they want to be saints and they're doing it to the best of their ability. And now it’s being brought into question whether Catholics who prefer the traditional sacraments for the means of their salvation are even good Catholics at all. And I think that really isolates a lot of traditional Catholics."
Harrison Butker is a true testament to his own quote, because his TLM activity has also made him a promoter of Catholic values in our increasingly atheistic culture. And with the increasing restrictions on being able to be fully Catholic, it was a nice sight to see a fellow Catholic win the Chiefs the Super Bowl.
As for Harrison Butker himself, he was quick to give credit to his teammates and God for the game winning kick: "You just got to go out and focus on what you can control — and I kind of had the easy job there. The offensive line did a great job blocking. Great snap, great hold — and thankfully, that ball went through. All glory to God.”