The spirit of giving blesses Shepherd’s Cup

September 13, 2011

Title sponsors of charity golf tourney, Sean & Kari Tracey, are ‘fearless’ examples of faith when it comes to the annual event

HOUSTON — In an economic time when many faithful are afraid of the effect tithing might have on their finances, Sean and Kari Tracey have decided to be fearless examples of giving to the Catholic Church.

Aside from their sometimes hectic professional schedules — Sean, an established personal injury and civil trial attorney, and Kari, a private business owner — both have consistently found ways of carving time out of their schedule to give back to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

So when Father Brendan Cahill, a longtime friend of the family and college friend of Sean, approached the couple about associating themselves as title sponsors of the then-host named Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Golf Classic to support St. Mary Seminary, the answer was a big ‘yes.’

“I’ve known Sean since college and for us, and a group of our friends, the Catholic faith has been very important,” Father Cahill said. “So when I approached him and Kari about helping out with the golf tournament that would help the seminarians, that really appealed to them.”

In 2008, the tournament was expanded to benefit faith formation and education, in addition to St. Mary Seminary. Without hesitation, the Traceys continued with their title sponsorship. Not only has the Tracey’s commitment been a big part of the annual event, but the number of participants has increased over the years, according to the Archdiocese’s Development Office. Last year 391 swung their clubs at the Kingwood Country Club, compared to 270 golfers in 2008.

“Every time we give, we seem to get back more than we give,” Sean Tracey said. “You have to be fearless about giving and not be scared. If you’re scared of giving, you won’t give and then you’ll hang on to the money like its Armageddon. Giving is about being fearless and wanting to give back to the Church.”

Another primary reason the Traceys give back year after year is their genuine appreciation for Catholic education. In August, Sean was invited to be a guest lecturer for two weeks at the University of Norte Dame. On his short visit to South Bend, Ind., he took time out of his schedule to have dinner with his eighth grade principal, a Catholic Franciscan nun: a person he had not seen in 30 years, but one who had a profound impact on his life.

“I went to public and Catholic schools, and by far Catholic school was a better education. It was a better experience for me and for my family,” Sean said. 

The Sean and Kari Tracey’s Shepherd’s Cup Charity Golf Classic, which benefits Catholic education and formation and St. Mary Seminary, is scheduled to be held at the Kingwood Country Club, Sept. 26. The annual tourney is presented by the Galveston-Houston Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc.

“I feel it's very important to be of service to others and to give back. This is a small part of giving back and am happy to have been involved for the past five years,” Kari said. “All the credit goes to so many of us that work to make this a great day. The Knights of Columbus do a fabulous job as well as all the committee members that work so hard throughout the year.”

The annual event will be kicked off with a reception at St. Mary Seminary on Sept. 25. Mass celebrated by Cardinal DiNardo will be followed by dinner and a silent auction. The registration deadline for the Shepherd’s Cup is Sept. 21. For more information on sponsorship call the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston’s Development Office at 713-652-4461 or visit www.ghkcc.golfreg.com. †