Souls in the Game, a co-production of Saint John’s Seminary and the Archdiocese of Boston, is a heartwarming new 30-minute documentary that tells the story of seminary formation beyond theology and philosophy classes. Released in time for National Vocation Awareness Week, the documentary offers a glimpse into seminary life through the lens of fraternity and sportsmanship, showing brothers supporting each other– on and off the court– as they grow to understand their own vocations.
Meet the Spokespersons
Fr. Peter Schirripa
Fr. Peter Schirripa is a newly ordained priest currently serving in South Boston. Shortly after graduating from St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, he took a job as a middle school English and Social Studies teacher in his hometown of Lexington, MA. In addition to teaching, he coached soccer, basketball, and baseball. It was in the halls of this public school that Peter began to hear the call to the priesthood.
After a colleague rushed to him with an urgent prayer request, Peter found himself visiting a local Catholic Church daily for two weeks. There, he discovered an important truth about prayer. In the words of St. Augustine, “Prayer never changes God; it changes us.” This time in prayer opened his heart to realize that in coming to the Church daily and offering prayers on behalf of his colleague, he was living out the role of a priest. A priest exists to offer prayer and sacrifice for the world, especially for those who feel they have no one to pray for them. In that time of prayer, Peter felt God asking him to offer his humanity to reveal the love of the Father to others.
Fr. Schirripa was ordained on May 20, 2023 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, MA. In his free time, he loves to play and watch sports, especially basketball. He loves being a priest, because he gets to remind people every single day that they are made for God.
Deacon Marcelo Ferrari
Deacon Marcelo Ferrari was born in Mexico and lived much of his childhood in Europe before arriving in Massachusetts for high school. He grew up in a Catholic home with regular family prayers and Mass attendance. After drifting from his faith in high school and college, Marcelo was invited on a mission trip to Haiti with FOCUS. There, his experience of the faith and joy of the people inspired a conversion. He returned to college with renewed conviction. While concluding his senior year at Bentley University, he was invited to go on a discernment retreat. Hearing the call, he entered the seminary in 2018. His basketball career began only after entering seminary. He joined the team as it was being formed and quickly grew to love the game. He was selected to be co-captain this year. Ordained to the transitional diaconate this past May, Marcelo will be ordained to the priesthood May 25, 2024.
This film highlights the importance of community and fraternity during seminary formation. Souls in the Game provides a window into the dimension of seminary life beyond the study of philosophy and theology.
Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap
Archbishop of Boston
Suggested Interview Questions
How did the Saint John’s Seminary basketball team become the subject of a documentary film?
How do you hope Souls in the Game might change popular perception of who goes to seminary and who can go to seminary?
What life lessons did you and your teammates learn from training for and competing in the basketball tournament? How do you see those lessons impacting your ministry?
How can this documentary and its complementary discussion questions be used as a tool to promote vocations to the priesthood?
Where can people go to learn more and watch the film?
Contact Carrie Kline at firstname.lastname@example.org for interview requests.