Sunday Services at Our Lady of the Five Minute Major


It’s a steamy 90 degrees outside in the swampy malarial heat of July in Minnesota, but here inside the vaulted interior of Our Lady of the Five Minute Major it’s a refreshingly cool 40 degrees. Yes, we have left behind the dusty buzz of the baseball diamond for the icy vaults of the hockey rink. Can autumn be far behind?

I know, it’s not even August yet. We still have a cicada filled month of days at the lake, and citronella infused nights on the porch before the State Fair arrives to herald the end of our summer. I won’t wish it away. After all I will have a full six months to spend with the hockey cult as 20 Prospect Jr pursues his love of the sport. It truly is a cult here in MN. Each rink we play at memorializes the players that have played there before and gone on to Olympic, Pro or college glory. There jersey’s are signed and framed on the walls like shrines to a Saint. (Today we are praying for the intercession of St. David Backes).

Out on the ice the kids skate from end to end chasing the puck and indulging their dreams of greater glory. It is such a competitive sport. I do my best to keep the fun in it for Jr knowing that he will never move beyond the youth level. Even High School hockey here is a long shot. Only the top 10 percent of the kids out there will ever make it to varsity. It makes me realize how blessed I was to go to a small High School in podunk NY in the 80’s when HS sports were still attainable for slow skinny kids like me.

Someday 20p Jr will have to hang up those skates and give up the dream. Probably at a much younger age than I had to surrender my dreams of college football. But until that day I will continue to sit here in the frozen pews and watch him dream.

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8 thoughts on “Sunday Services at Our Lady of the Five Minute Major

  1. Wrt. dreams of your kids: for me, “To be honest or not to be honest, aye, there’s the rub…” My oldest has been doing gymnastics since he’s 3. Definitely not a cult, esp. for boys’ gymnastics. I’ve made it very clear to him that he should not count on gymnastics… “We are here for muscle building and dexterity training.” Sometimes I feel sorry for my kids…

    • We try to be realistic with them, and neither encourage nor discourage the dream, but explain to them the commitment and work it involves. Hopefully, if there’s one lesson they learn it’s that. Nothing worth having ever comes easy.

  2. One of the good things about Minnesota is that hockey isn’t necessarily for athletes. It’s just something kids do. We all skated. Like baseball was in summer in the little town where I grew up. We ALL played ball, some better than others. Two of my teammates (brothers) were later offered pro contracts. I wasn’t (understatement). Both wisely realized their limitations and went to college instead.

    • I like to think there’s still a small town somewhere like Albert Lea where things haven’t changed. Here in the cities it’s ridiculous. Kids are encouraged to pick 1 sport and play it year ’round. They are sent to camps, and in some circumstances, even have personal coaches, like piano teachers but for sports. Seriously, I have heard of people sending 8 & 9 year old kids to hitting instructors for baseball.

      The only hitting instructor I ever had was my big brother. And our training camp was the backyard, or the street in front of the house. That never stopped us from loving the sport, or dreaming big, and it got us the same place that 99.9% of these kids will get to. A seat in the stands, or on the couch.

  3. I used to dream of being a singer. In some ways it might have been nice to have a little more reality (especially as I approached the end of High School) but in other ways some of the best experiences of my life came out of it.
    I think there is a point where you have to be honest, but I think too there’s a lot to be said for really following an unlikely dream. Especially when you learn so much about hard work and dedication. So what if he’s never pro? I bet there are few things that that kid would work so hard for or sacrifice as much, he’s learning bigger things.
    Reality slaps us all in the face eventually. I like to let the Universe do it.

    • Well said. Sometimes though I just wish the Universe would stop slapping me already. Maybe I need to get a restraining order.

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