Priest throws down challenge for annual golf event

September 8, 2015

HOUSTON — What’s a golf tournament without a bit of friendly rivalry and braggadocio?

The priestly coordinator of a new event pitting parish against parish at the upcoming Shepherd’s Cup Charity Golf Classic challenged parishes to field a foursome for what has morphed from unofficial rivalry into an official contest, complete with trophy and due recognition. 

Father Sean Horrigan, pastor of Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church, hopes to enlist 10 to 15 foursomes from parishes across the Archdiocese, but warned they will be up against stiff competition from his own parish.

“We look forward to competing and coming out on top,” said Father Horrigan, who described himself as an average golfer. “In the unofficial competition we won. Now, we hope to win officially. Our job is to show up and win.”

The new Shepherd’s Cup trophy is a rotating cup that will be presented each year to the parish team with the best low net score. It may be displayed within the winning parish facilities for the year for all to enjoy and recognize the Archdiocesan Parish Champs.

All parishes are encouraged to enter. In order to qualify the team must be comprised of registered members and clergy in the parish from whom they represent. Parishes are allowed to enter more than one team.

Friendly competition aside, Father Horrigan was quick to point out that first and foremost the golf classic is about raising funds for Catholic education, faith and clergy formation and St. Mary’s Seminary.

Father Horrigan will be amongst the dozens of priests and seminarians who will be participating in Daniel Cardinal DiNardo’s eighth-annual Shepherd’s Cup Charity Golf Classic, a two-day affair encompassing Mass, dinner and auction on Oct. 4, followed the next day by golf and a luncheon. The Oct. 4 evening event, chaired by Michele Holbrooke, features a dinner catered by Carrabba’s, live and silent auctions, raffle and “buy it now” items, as well as a wine pull and dessert table auction. 

Organizers are hoping to recruit 400 players for the golf tournament and top the $300,000 raised last year. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the event, which began in 2008 when Archbishop Emeritus Joseph A. Fiorenza’s annual tournament for St. Mary’s Seminary and then-Archbishop Daniel N. DiNardo’s tournament for Catholic education and faith formation were combined into one event.

“The generosity from all the players and workers has always been outstanding — for what they do for the Church,” said Jim Collins, a member of Knights of Columbus who was been involved with the event since it was for Archbishop Fiorenza. “It’s a great way to bring people together and raise a lot of money for charity.”

Meanwhile, Nicolas Ramirez, a seminarian at St. Mary’s and transitional deacon at Prince of Peace Catholic Community, has been rallying the almost 60 seminarians, who will participate this year as volunteers or golfers. 

“From my understanding, the event is a way for people to get to know us and gain insight into the life of a seminarian and to fund the formation of men to become priests,” said Ramirez, who also plans to golf. “They are getting to know the fruits of their gift.”

Last year, some of the event proceeds were put towards training programs for priests and deacons and others who serve in clergy formation. Other funds went towards faith formation, including “Together in Holiness” conference, Café Cathólica and the Office of Worship Ministry. Funding also went to the Catholic Schools Office for professional development.

In his online message, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo said the tournament provides a great venue for fellowship and community while raising awareness and support for the foundation of the Catholic faith.


Shepherd’s Cup 2015

Galveston-Houston Knights of Columbus Charities will present Daniel Cardinal DiNardo’s Shepherd’s Cup Charity Golf Classic on Oct. 5 at The Clubs of Kingwood, 1700 Lake Kingwood Trail. Tee off is at noon. Presenting sponsors for the tournament are Sean and Kari Tracey. Sponsorship opportunities are available. 
For more information about the tournament, visit