Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Nuns prayed for the Bengals with 40 seconds left in last week's game. They'll do it again Sunday

A new survey puts Bengals fans near the bottom of the list when it comes to the most miserable and saddest fans...translation=Bengals are among the happiest fans!
A new survey puts Bengals fans near the bottom of the list when it comes to the most miserable and saddest fans... translation=Bengals are among the happiest fans!

The last time Mother Marie-Cecile saw the Cincinnati Bengals in a playoffs game, she was about 10 years old and remembers doing the Ickey Shuffle in gym class. Now, she's with Old St. Mary's Church in Over-the-Rhine and still rooting for the Bengals with the other sisters.

With 40 seconds left in last week's game against the Titans, she says all six nuns at the convent prayed for the team. The scoreline was tied 16-16.

"We knelt down and we prayed, the whole community. Then when we stood up, we checked the phone again because we don't have television, and within three seconds that changed to 19," she said.

She says they could hear cheering from Rhinehaus, a sports bar across the street, and saw people celebrating.

"When I went out to ring the bell, there were people walking by and they were so happy because they're like 'This is so good!' After a couple years of hardships — I mean everyone's had that in the country — but we had two hard years. It's good for the city's morale," she said.

She says the nuns started praying for the Bengals about two weeks ago, when someone on Facebook asked them for an emergency novena for the team. She asked the person if the Bengals really needed it.

"She said, 'Always. St. Paul said 'Pray without ceasing,' So that day we prayed nine Hail Marys and then we checked the score, and then they won," Mother Marie-Cecile said.

They've even started a fun rivalry with two local priests from Kansas.

"We're talking about whose prayers are powerful," she said laughing. "It's just a joke [that] we're praying against each other. And I said, 'Well, I prayed for snow today. What did you get?' "

The nuns are hosting their weekly vespers on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in the church's hall so they can also watch the Bengals game with those who attend.

All are welcome to join the service and watch the Bengals play.

Jolene Almendarez is the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants who came to San Antonio in the 1960s. She was raised in a military family and has always called the city home. She studied journalism at San Antonio College and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Public Communications from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She's been a reporter in San Antonio and Castroville, Texas, and in Syracuse and Ithaca, New York.