Marcus Freeman joins the Catholic Church

Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman has been confirmed Catholic, according to an announcement in the bulletin of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Granger, Ind. Freeman’s wife, Joanna, and their six children are already Catholic.

In an interview with the National Catholic Register published in late August, Freeman, who was a Christian before converting to Catholicism, noted that he liked Notre Dame’s emphasis on faith. “It’s important to me. I want our guys to think about what it means to embrace Jesus Christ.”

Freeman is also reviving an old Notre Dame game day tradition of having his team attend Mass on game day. The team attended mass the day before games under Brian Kelly.

From the Catholic News Agency:

Again, for home games, the team will go to Mass together at the Basilica, exit through the “God, Country, Notre Dame” gate, and walk across campus to Notre Dame Stadium.

Freeman had fond memories of attending a pre-game mass he attended as a high school freshman in Huber Heights, Ohio. At a press conference marking the start of training last spring, he said he was “taken by surprise” to learn that the team was no longer following tradition.

“That’s what I remember from my recruitment journey – watching the players walk out of the Basilica on their way to the stadium. I was a bit taken by surprise when we didn’t last year” , he said, adding that he was restoring tradition.

Freeman told The Register why he thinks it’s important for the team to attend mass together before games.

“For me, what better time is there to go to mass?” he said. “What better time to be able to be truly on the edge of your seat to hear every word that comes out of the priest’s mouth and to be as close to God as possible?”

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest news.

Martha J. Finley