Bruce Wawrzyniak was born and baptized Catholic, has spent the majority of his professional career working in sports, and is a veteran broadcaster and podcaster. His faith life includes being a Benedictine Oblate to the St. Leo Abbey in west central Florida, participating regularly in a monthly men’s prayer group through his church, being the president of a weekly Christian Business Connections group, and being part of the Cursillo movement, having been attending monthly Ultreya meetings for a few years now and made his weekend in early October 2019. He attends Mass twice a week and did a men’s Emmaus weekend in 2016.
It’s not about wins and losses or statistics. Helping listeners find the right balance and priority when it comes to their faith life versus their sports life, interviews are done with guests who are Catholics in sports – current or former athletes, coaches, officials, clergy, administrators, and more, from the pro, amateur, and scholastic ranks. Whether you’re an athlete or a fan, youth or adult, Catholic or not, this show will deliver content that speaks to you and provides opportunities for ongoing reflection for your daily life.
A pro football player who made his NFL debut last year as a tight end for the 2019 Washington Redskins team after initially having been with the Indianapolis Colts. In college he had played for four years and won a national championship at Alabama after having been a top prospect following his high school football days.
An assistant coach for Belmont Abbey College’s men’s track and field. As a student-athlete there he became the school’s record-holder in the decathlon and earned All Region honors. He has also coached an NCAA DII All-American in heptathlon as well as a male and female freshman athlete of the year for their respective conferences. Growing up he had competed in football, baseball, and basketball.
The Director of Player Development and Recruiting Coordinator for the Tulane University men’s basketball team, a position that he took approximately a year-and-a-half ago after having been special assistant to the head coach at Georgia State. Before that he served as an assistant coach at Henderson State, which came after a two-year stint at Northwood University where he finished up as associate head coach. He has also been Director of Basketball Operations at Miami University in Ohio, where he had played for four years.
He played baseball in elementary school, soccer in high school, and now in his adult life is an avid marathoner, including having participated in events from southern California to New York City to Naples, Florida, and even Rome, Italy. Meanwhile, he wrote a book called, 100 Ways John Paul II Changed the World, and has won more than two dozen awards from the Catholic Press Association. He met Pope St. John Paul II five times! He also talks here about having gone five times to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
“My dad had had two goals in life. One was to be married for 50 years, which he accomplished, and have a large family and raise them in the faith, which he did… His pride and joy was knowing that he raised his family … to know Jesus and to love their Catholic faith.”
“The faith… was the base that I grew up with and when times got tough, I turned to God and the church and never looked back.”
“As human beings we’re a body and spirit, so we need to feed both of them and some of the lessons I learned in sports, both in baseball and in soccer, have stayed with me.”
“When I get to heaven… I’ll just be overwhelmed by God himself and the heavenly hosts and all that.”
“Basically, my whole career as a journalist, as an editor, as a publicist, has been in the Catholic faith. So, God had this plan for me, that I never could have foreseen to be working in His church for my entire life.”
“And my boss said, ‘Would you like to meet the Pope?’ And I said, ‘Do you need to ask?! If there’s a list, just put me on it, please.’ And they put me on the list and on October 1st, 1997, I met John Paul II for the first time.”
“I’m just a farm kid from Saskatchewan, I’m speaking to the greatest Pope in a thousand years and he’s listening to me. Incredibly humble. I felt very humble to have that opportunity… Not only that, I got to attend his Mass, in his private chapel, in the Papal apartments, across the hall from his bedroom, his study where he did all of his great work. In his private chapel where he prayed and did some of his greatest work. And it was one of the greatest days of my life.”
“I do find (Pope St. John Paul II) as – because I met him so many times – as one of my personal patrons. So absolutely, I pray for his intercession pretty regularly.”
“When I was a teenager, I made a pledge to ride my bicycle across Canada – five thousand miles – to raise awareness for Pro-Life issues. My parents vetoed that idea, but I publicly said that I would do this and made the commitment to do this as a 16-year old Canadian kid. So, Pro-Life has been one of my passions.”
Patrick’s book – 100 Ways John Paul II Changed the World
A UFC Heavyweight Champion and three-time King of Pancrase world champion, he finished his career on a 22-fight unbeaten streak (21 wins, 1 draw). He has been inducted to the UFC Hall of Fame and has appeared in movies and on TV shows. He is a retired mixed martial artist, karate and taekwondo black belt, and Muay Thai kickboxer.