When the quarterback announced his retirement this weekend, it rocked the NFL.
Many will debate about what led to this decision, and what comes next. Maybe, just maybe, God has something else planned.
One thing that hasn’t been widely noted is the role of faith in his life. Andrew Luck is Catholic — one biography notes that he was involved in his parish’s youth group as a teenager — and he spoke a bit about faith and service at a Catholic Charities fundraiser five years ago:
As he continues his preparation for the next football season, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck focuses on the two challenges that head coach Chuck Pagano gave each of his players for the off-season:
“His off-season message has always been two-fold,” Luck said during his talk at the archdiocese’s Spirit of Service Awards Dinner in Indianapolis on April 30.
“One, ‘Imagine hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, the trophy you win for winning the Super Bowl.’ It’s a powerful image.
“The second part, he asks us a question, ‘How are you serving each other? How do you serve your teammate? What are you doing to make your teammate better?’ ”
For Luck, those questions are not just for him and his teammates, but for every person in terms of their service to others.
“Anybody and everybody can serve,” he noted during the fundraising event for Catholic Charities Indianapolis at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. “There is no age limit. There is no distinction of where you come from, who you are, the color of your skin. We are all called to serve. We all have an obligation to serve one another.”
…Luck makes his best connections at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, where he visits patients, helping them with their homework and science experiments.
He told the audience of nearly 600 people how the children affect him near the end of a season when he sometimes whines about the aches and bruises that come with playing football.
“You go up to the cancer ward, and you talk to the first kid and the family, then the next kid and the family, and the next kid and the next kid. By the end of it, you’re admonishing yourself to get your act together. The issues you’re dealing with pale in comparison to the real crises of real people in the world.
“But it also provides a lot of motivation, a refreshing perspective. Spirit of service is a two-way street. We’ve all been on the receiving end and, I hope, we’ve all been on the other end as well…”
…Luck also noted how St. John Paul II—who was recently canonized—is “a personal favorite of mine.”
“What an example he was, breaking down boundaries and reaching out to people from all walks of life in different areas,” Luck said. “He’s a great example in terms of service across the board.”
The quarterback closed his talk with this thought: “To be of service to others is for everybody and anybody—anytime, anywhere. It’s our duty as humans to engage in service.”