Shepherd’s Cup gets some extra support

October 11, 2011

KINGWOOD — The game of golf often can be a bit intimidating and challenging, but on the flip side it also can be a game that many enjoy playing, especially when you have good company at your side. The latter was the case for Ralph Schad. He was one of over 300 golfers that participated in the fourth annual Sean and Kari Tracey’s Shepherd’s Cup Golf Classic presented by the Galveston-Houston Knights of Columbus Charities at the Kingwood Country Club on Sept. 26.

His main reason for playing was simple – giving to the Archdiocese. Schad, 88, joined clergy, seminarians and parishioners from all over the Archdiocese for 18 holes of competition on three separate courses at the Kingwood Country Club. What made Schad’s experience different than anyone else on the putting greens was the companionship of seminarian Eli Lopez.

Lopez, a native Houstonian and All Saints Catholic Church parishioner, was paired up with Schad to help him move around on the course. Not familiar with the game of golf, Lopez freely volunteered a couple of days before the tournament to help the senior because of ties to St. Mary Seminary. Part of the funds raised benefit Catholic formation, Catholic education and St. Mary Seminary.

“It’s humbling to be a part of this tournament, and to see the support we receive from the community,” Lopez said. “Helping and sharing the experience with Ralph was something new since I’m not a golf player. I was very happy and honored to escort and aid one of our supporters of the Archdiocese.”

Originally, Schad, a St. Michael Catholic Church parishioner, had expressed interest in only playing 9 holes, but prior to the event he changed his mind and decided to play all 18 holes – only chips and putts.

“I play in events like these that helps promote charity,” Schad said. “I’m a Catholic and I wanted to support my Cardinal.” 

Just like Schad answered the call to help support through the Shepherd’s Cup, Lopez’s calling to St. Mary Seminary was a unique one. 

“Part of the RCIA program at my parish for seven years, as I journeyed with people entering the Church, my own faith journey increased. At that time I was a single male involved at my parish and felt I could serve in a larger capacity but had no idea about the priesthood until I went on a five-day silent retreat with Monsignor Adam McClosky, our pastor at All Saints, and seven other people. During that time I prayed and asked God to show me where it was he wanted me to serve and six months later I felt I had discerned to answer the call to the vocations to the priesthood.”

The annual event, a major fundraiser of the Archdiocese, supports St. Mary Seminary, Catholic education and faith formation.†