The Bleacher Brothers are preaching the Good News, in the oldest way. It’s the way Jesus instructed his disciples to evangelize: “After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them ahead of him to every town and place he was about to visit” (Luke 10:1)
This explains why a couple of Franciscan priests, dressed in monk’s robes and sandals are showing up at major league ballparks throughout the U.S. this summer. These friars don’t chicken out when it comes to the sign value of wearing their habits. Casual strangers comment, “Hey man! What’s up with the costumes?” And, “Aren’t you hot in those robes?” Or, “Look at the guys in the gunny sacks with ropes tied around their waists!” And, “Hey! Who are you guys anyway?”
To answer the last question, the men are Father Casey Cole, OFM and Father Roberto “Tito” Serrano, OFM, the “Bleacher Brothers.” They’ve devised a plan to visit every major league ball park this summer. They’ll be dressed for religion. At each stadium they’ll attend the game and answer people’s questions about what they are doing.
St. Francis and his troupe of friars went from town to town preaching the Gospel of Jesus in the town squares. The Bleacher Brothers have decided to show up at baseball cathedrals like Wrigley Field and Yankee stadium and all the other MLB parks to do their own preaching.
Their evangelization method is simplicity itself: 1. Show up in monk’s robes. 2. Respond to people who are curious about what they are doing. 3. Listen to people’s concerns. 4. Then, ask the question: “How is your life’s journey going?” 5. Present the Gospel of Jesus in all its simplicity and richness tailored to the needs of the curious. At this point the Bleacher Brothers become the “Good News Brothers.” They give witness to the Good News of Jesus.
I am going to follow their exploits on their website. They are going to meet all kinds of people, eat hot dogs and drink a few cold ones along the way. I wish them grace and blessings.