Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Florida Catholic staff - Florida Catholic
MIAMI | What started off as a family outing to Marlins Park turned into an experience of a lifetime for the 20 students of the Church of the Little Flower/St. Theresa School Honor Choir: They got to sing the national anthem at the start of a game against the San Diego Padres.
Several times throughout the year, Jorge Santibáñez, Little Flower's director of religious education, organizes parish outings to local sporting events.
Previous trips have been to Marlins baseball games, Heat basketball games and the Orange Bowl Football Classic. These outings serve as fun community-building opportunities and as modest fundraisers to support the parish youth ministry.
As planning began for this latest outing, the Marlins representative pitched the idea of having the children's choir sing the anthem.
"It was a no-brainer," said Santibáñez. "I accepted the invitation before even checking the calendars for dates because I know what an experience like that would mean for the kids and families. That's exactly what these outings are all about — bringing the people of our parish together for fun, memorable experiences."
With 150 parishioners in attendance for the Aug. 26 game, including Little Flower’s pastor, Father Michael Davis, and priest-in-residence, Father Thomas Honold, the St. Theresa choir took the field. They sang the national anthem under the direction of choir director Roger Mason, and accompanied by Sophia Molina on the violin.
Afterward, Billy the Marlin came by to visit the group, and the Marlins went on to win the game in dramatic fashion.
Santibáñez, a lifelong Marlins fan, wasted no time looking ahead. "A Marlins win means we'll have to do it again soon!"
To watch a video of the performance, click here.