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While priestly formation may happen primarily within the walls of the seminary — through the study of philosophy and theology and quiet prayer in the chapel — there’s something wonderfully human about how Saint John’s Seminary’s formation has extended to the basketball court.

The film follows members of the Saint John's Seminary team, which first formed in 2017, as they bond through early-morning practices in an elementary school gym and later travel to Illinois to compete in the St. Francis de Sales tournament.  The last game was held in the gym used as a practice facility by the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks for 30 years until 2017.  The  tournament featured 12 teams from around the United States. It was an extraordinary weekend of basketball, but also a lot of brotherhood, for the 250 men who have chosen to give their lives to Christ. Between games, the men prayed together, ate together, and enjoyed a camaraderie that strengthens the future of our Church. 

Catholicism is a personal faith, and evangelization happens best when personal relationships exist. For men, some of those strongest relationships are formed through sports, which can provide an opening for “the New Evangelization,” as Pope Benedict XVI coined it. This documentary shows that.

Souls in the Game highlights formation beyond the study of philosophy and theology.  It tells the story of priestly formation through the lens of fraternity, sportsmanship, and the dedication of a team striving to support each other beyond the wood of the court as they grow in the understanding of their own vocations.

Souls in the Game shows the pure joy and fraternal love that the SJS basketball team exudes, which is emblematic of the beauty and joy of the Catholic life.  Saint John's Seminary firmly believes that sharing this life with the world will lead to conversions, vocations, and a reaffirmation of the goodness of our Lord and His Church.

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 

The Team

Patrick Nee, Coach

Peter Schirripa, Team Captain, Archdiocese of Boston

Joe Jasinski, Archdiocese of Boston

Rickey Reyes, Diocese of Worcester 

Ryan Henderson, Archdiocese of Boston

Chris Puglia, Oblates of the Virgin Mary

Brian Daley, Archdiocese of Boston

Miggo Roque, Oblates of the Virgin Mary

Paul Born, Archdiocese of Boston

Marcelo Ferrari, Archdiocese of Boston

Nick Colon, Archdiocese of Boston

Tim Walsh, Archdiocese of Boston

Jay Zizza, Diocese of Providence

John Saniuk, Archdiocese of Boston

Nick Jones, Diocese of Providence

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