It's seminarians vs. seminarians vs. priests in April 24 basketball tournament in Chaska

It's seminarians vs. seminarians vs. priests in April 24 basketball tournament in Chaska

Seminarians from the undergraduate-level St. John Vianney Seminary and graduate-level St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas will challenge one another in the opening round of the Guardian Angels Invitational Basketball Tournament Friday, April 24, at the Guardian Angels school gym in Chaska.

The winner of that game will go on to face a team of priests from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Priests already drafted for the game are newly ordained Father John Meyer and Father Scott Carl, who will be joined by Father Peter Laird, Father Kevin McDonough, Father Thomas Wilson and Father Michael Becker.

And on Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26, the tournament will continue with teams from parishes from throughout the archdiocese.

The seminarians vs. the priests tournament was started last year by St. John Vianney Seminary as a way to promote vocations. "We are regular guys and we want young men to know that," said Nicholas VanDenBroeke, a first-year seminarian at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity.

Similar to the Rectors' Bowl, an annual football game between the two seminaries, the basketball tournament adds priests and parishioners to the mix.  "Our seminarians appreciate the affirmation they receive from the Catholic community and our priests," said Monsignor Aloysius Callaghan, rector at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divnity.  "It’s uplifting for them to hear the cheers of support for both their athletic abilities and their vocation!"

VanDenBroeke, instigator of last year's tournament, said the event also helps build fraternity between members of the two seminaries while giving lay parish members from throughout the archdiocese an opportunity to get to know one another.

"Besides," VanDenBroeke said, "I've always wanted to play basketball against a team of priests."

For more information, visit the tournament Web site at