By Mary Stadnyk | Associate Editor
Before the Super Bowl, Philly fans were pretty excited that their “Birds” were going into the big game against the New England Patriots Feb. 4. And after the Super Bowl, forget about it. They went absolutely wild about the Eagles’ 41-33 win and bringing home the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy for the very first time.
To see more photos from the Life St. Francis Pep Rally, click here.
To say the least, folks from around the Diocese of Trenton have had a healthy case of Philly fever over the past several weeks and they were only too happy to share it.
Parishes where fevers spiked high included Corpus Christi Parish, Willingboro, where Father John Testa, pastor, posted a “Fly Eagles Fly” sign on the front lawn, and choir members sang the refrain of “Fly Like a Bird” before Mass and the Eagles Victory Song after Mass. St. Mary of the Lakes Parish, Medford, showed their Eagles’ spirit with a pre-game outdoor sign that had a message from Scripture, “Soaring On Eagles Wings” (Isaiah 40:31) and then changed the post-game sign to “God Bless The Eagles, Fly Philly Fly.”
One school that has its share of Eagles fans – especially among the faculty – is Sacred Heart School, Mount Holly. “The kids are excited about the Eagles but the teachers are even more so,” said Kathryn Besheer, principal. “Teachers have been saying how they have waited their whole life to see the Eagles win the Super Bowl and now it’s finally happened.”
Even the teachers who are not football fans enjoyed the festivities, Besheer added, because “the Eagles are right across the river and we’re all supporting our home team. We’re here showing our home team pride.”
Besheer said the school has held a few celebratory events including a pre-game dress down day that coincided with a planned Catholic Schools Week ice cream social. Students were permitted to wear Eagles or Patriots attire on Feb. 1. Then, right after the Eagles won, Besheer said at 10:40 p.m. on Sunday night, she quickly sent an e-message to the school families that another celebratory dress down day would be held on Feb. 5. The school is also planning to have a television in the cafeteria on Feb. 8 so that students and staff can watch the parade in honor of the Eagles during their lunch period and they will be treated to Philly Pretzels.
Philly fever also infected the young at heart, as demonstrated by clients at Life St. Francis in Bordentown Feb. 2 when the staff hosted a rousing “Help Cheer on the Philadelphia Eagles” pep rally. Clients were settled at tables set up in the large community room decorated with green and white balloons and they were given green and black necklace beads to wear. The pep rally began with staff members holding cardboard cut-outs of dog faces entering in as the song “Who Let The Dogs Out?” played.
“That’s because right now the Eagles are known as the underdogs,” said Elizabeth Quirk, recreational therapist. “But we’re here rooting them on and hoping they will win the Super Bowl. Maybe they won’t be the underdogs after Sunday.”
As Quirk and John Leone, who oversees the recreational department at Life St. Francis, and Mary Beth Tubbs, director of clinical services, watched the staff and clients sing the Eagles Victory Song, play their own version of a football game with an inflatable field goal post and enjoy Philly pretzels and near-beer, they spoke of the many social and recreational events that are made available to the clients. Among the many activities include arts and crafts, sports and exercise and a special turkey dinner near Thanksgiving. Quirk noted that February promises to be a busy month with Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year parties planned.
“Life St. Francis has a beautiful mission” in providing all-inclusive services that range from medical to social to its clients, said Tubbs, a member of Sacred Heart Parish, Mount Holly. “For many of our clients, these events are their opportunities for socialization. We try to meet all their needs.”