St. Mary’s Basilica lies at the northeast end zone for “Super Bowl Central” in downtown Phoenix.
So, to satisfy and pique curiosity for the 1 million Super Bowl and NFL Experience fans — some 100,000 each day — expected to crowd 12 city blocks, parish leaders created a game plan. They teamed up with local Catholic agencies to present a “PlayBook for Common Good” event.
Parish leaders knew from past experience with large conventions and the 2011 All-Star game that many would notice the historic church. They also knew that, despite an appearance of wealth within a Super Bowl host city, that many in the community struggle to get by each day.
“PlayBook for Common Good” came out of a team huddle focused on showcasing the Catholic agencies and programs that serve those in need throughout much of Arizona. It kicks off 10 a.m. Jan. 31 in the courtyard between St. Mary’s Basilica and the Diocesan Pastoral Center. Fourth quarter ends at 6 p.m.
Football fans and anyone else who stops by will be able to make their way across the field of activity stations featuring family-friendly activities, interactive games and tours of the church. They can also learn a bit about the work of each Catholic ministry.
Expect food booths hosted by the Refuge Café and St. Mary’s Social Action Committee, music and entertainment, pictures with a life-size cutout of Pope Francis, a Francis Funds Wishing Well, face painting and giant-sized board games. Staff and volunteers from St. Vincent de Paul, the Foundation for Senior Living and St. Paul Street Evangelization Team will host information booths.
Several programs from Catholic Charities Community Services will also be included. Learn about and meet refugees staff has helped settle in the Valley and staff from its unaccompanied minors, foster care, homelessness and housing and domestic violence programs.