Bishop wows Georgia Catholics at baseball charity night

Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., of Savannah throws out the first pitch at Grayson Stadium on June 4, 2014. Credit: Sarah E. Dixon/The Southern Cross.

It's the first time the Savannah Sand Gnats have seen a standing ovation after the first pitch.

That's probably because Gregory J. Hartmayer, Franciscan bishop of Savannah, threw it in front of more than 1,500 Catholics in attendance for a charity night at Grayson Stadium for the Sand Gnats vs. the Asheville Tourists game.

Barbara King, director of communications for the diocese, said the bishop had a combination of practice and experience on his side.

“He practiced on Tuesday with the Benedictine Military School baseball team, who won state baseball this year,” King told CNA June 5. “He also played some baseball in his youth, so he did a good job both at practice and at the game.”

The Savannah diocese partnered with the Sand Gnats to host a Catholic charity night during the game. King said the diocese bought 1,500 tickets to distribute to Catholics in the parishes, but even more turned up for the event.

More than 2,000 pounds of food were collected at the game for the Savannah Social Apostolate, an outreach of the Diocese of Savannah that serves the poor and the homeless.

“The Sand Gnats said it was the largest charity night they’ve ever had,” King said.

The diocese got the idea for the baseball charity event from a few other dioceses in the region. This year was the first year the Diocese of Savannah tried such an event.

“It was terrific night and a great way to get the Catholic community together for a good cause,” King said. “We’ll definitely do this again next year.”


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Archbishop José H. Gomez

As I continue to visit parishes around this great archdiocese, I see every day that the life of faith is lived in the heart of the parish.   

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March 6, 2015

  • Friday, March 6

    Lenten Fish Fry, 4:30-8:30 p.m., St. Clare’s, 19606 Calla Way, Canyon Country. Every Friday through March 27. (661) 252-3353. http://www.st-clare.org/.

    Fish Dinner, 5:30-7 p.m., St. Luke’s Catholic Church, 5605 Cloverly Ave., Temple City. Hosted by Kinghts of Columbus Council #9128 every Friday through March 27.

    CRS Rice Bowl 40th Anniversary Concert, 6-9:30 p.m., St. Monica Catholic Community, 725 California Ave., Santa Monica Featuring Stations of the Cross, speaker Thomas Awiapo, performer Ben Walther and food trucks. This year marks the 40th anniversary of CRS Rice Bowl, the largest and oldest Lenten program used by millions of Catholics across the United States known for its iconic and symbolic cardboard ‘rice bowl.’

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