October 19, 2016, Seattle, Washington – If you had the opportunity to ask a Catholic Sister about anything you wanted, most likely you would ask her about her faith or the Catholic Church. But when 710 KIRO radio talk show host Dori Monson speaks to Sister Cele Gorman, OP, he asks a quite different question:
Who do you think will win the professional football games this weekend?
For the past 21 years, Sister Cele and Sister Kath Silverthorn, a Sister of St. Joseph of Peace, have been forecasting the results of National Football League games each week during the Fall as part of the Dori Monson Show.
“I’ve always been a fan,” Sister Cele said. “I used to watch football in high school, and then when the Seattle Seahawks started, that added to my interest.”
Her love for football answered the call when radio talk show host Dori Monson decided to take a different approach to his treatment of football games. Rather than speaking to coaches, he decided to speak to people that were seen as unlikely commentators on the sport: Catholic Sisters.
The Archdiocese of Seattle referred him to a Sister who was not an expert on football, but who knew of Sister Cele’s and Sister Kath’s love for the sport.
“I had never met Sister Kath,” Sister Cele said. But when Dori spoke to them and offered them the opportunity to make predictions about upcoming football games, “we talked about it and thought it would be fun to do.”
The procedure is simple. Each week, on Wednesday or Thursday, Sisters Cele and Kath receive an email from Dori, listing four NFL games coming up that weekend and asking them to choose the winners of each. Sister Cele does some research on the teams and makes her predictions.
“A couple of times we go into the station to do the show, but most of the time he calls and pre-records our conversation, and it’s on later in the day,” around 2:50 p.m., she explained. “He’ll give the games and we’ll tell why we think a particular team will win.”
The radio broadcast is not only about the competition among the football teams, but also among the three forecasters: Dori and the two Sisters. “Each week, he [Dori] starts out by saying something like, ‘Sister Kath is three games ahead.’ It’s a real back and forth with the three of us, and I would guess we’re probably pretty competitive, too.”
Sister Cele said she has continued to be involved in the program for all these years because of her love for football – but also because of the opportunity to help listeners to understand Sisters a little better. The program “lets listeners know that Sisters are ordinary people who have a variety of different interests – and who enjoy sports,” she said.
The short, weekly broadcast has become very popular in the Seattle area, and the two Sisters have become local celebrities in their own right. During her full-time ministry as coordinator of Assumption Convent Assisted Living, Sister Cele often meets strangers – firefighters who check the facility or physical therapists who come to serve one of the Sisters – who recognize her name from the program. “When I introduce myself, they say, ‘Oh, are you the one on the radio program?’ That’s very funny – I never know when that’s going to happen.”
Sister Cele has a ready answer to a final interview question – who will win the Super Bowl this year?
The Seattle Seahawks – of course!
Listen to a podcast of the Dori Monson Show.
October 18, 2016, Chicago, Illinois – A special blessing by the Most Reverend Joseph Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, marked the 20th anniversary of Aquinas Literacy Center. Founded in 1996, Aquinas is one of seven literacy centers sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Read the full article on the blessing and on Aquinas in a recent issue of DomLife.
Feature photo: Most Reverend Joseph Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, addresses learners and tutors of Aquinas Literacy Center.