Missy (and the Jesuits) gets it right

America’s newest sweetheart has her head on straight.

Missy Franklin won a gold medal in the women’s 100 backstroke final at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

She is the youngest member of the Women’s swimming team – she is just entering into her senior year of Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora.  Speaking to the Denver Catholic Register, Missy said:

“My experiences at Regis Jesuit have absolutely impacted my spiritual life, in so many ways. I am considering converting to Catholicism; I’m currently Protestant…Going into Regis Jesuit, my faith was not a very big aspect of my life. Taking my first theology classes, going to my first Masses, going on my first retreats, I began to realize how important God is in my life and how much I love him and need him…”

The Jesuits getting it right. Again.

This is where we shine.  When young kids like this are attracted to the faith because of the normal stuff we do.

People will be attracted to the faith not because of our fancy words, but because we are sincere, because we are genuine.  When we speak of God openly and with truth… When we are a people of the Eucharist that sincerity grows and shines forth even more.  It’s no coincidence that Missy points to the Mass and retreats as moments of conversion.  The Eucharist necessarily calls us and pulls us toward unity.

Pray for Missy.

Pray that many many more experience the beauty of our faith as she has at Regis.

Bravo Missy.  And Congratulations on the Gold!


This girl is incredible. Via the LA Times -

Seventeen-year-old American Missy Franklin broke the world record in the 200-meter backstroke to claim the gold medal in 2 minutes 4.06 seconds at the London Olympics on Friday at the Aquatics Center.

Her Olympic debut has resulted in three gold medals, including a sweep of the backstroke events. The third gold came in the 800-meter freestyle relay.

  • http://egregioustwaddle.blogspot.com/ Joanne K McPortland

    One of the first things Missy told NBC’s poolside reporter after winning the gold, right after saying how emotional it was to have her parents there, was how blessed she is by God. She said it in the most joyful, spontaneous, authentic, unapologetic way, tagging it with the ubiquitous teenage “y’know?”—which made it a great example of witness.

  • http://www.archden.org Julie Filby

    Thank you, Father Michael, for sharing this story about Missy Franklin. Colorado is very proud of her and inspired by her faith. A correction to the post: Missy actually made those comments to our paper, the Denver Catholic Register, in the Archdiocese of Denver (not Portland): http://www.archden.org/index.cfm/ID/8108
    Thank you! Peace, Julie

    • Fr. Michael Duffy

      Thanks for the correction!

  • http://afterthemass.blogspot.com/ John Fitz

    Thanks Fr. Duffy. I was impressed as well with Missy’s story and her great faith. One good thing about the Olympics is it’s purity of the athletes(at least the amateurs). It is a blessing to have her as a disciple in the water.

  • chris

    Actually, Missy was not the youngest member of the women’s swim team. That distinction went to Katie Ledecky, from Bethesda, Maryland, a gold-medal winner in the 800 meter freestyle event. Katie attends a Catholic school as well, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart.