UP Catholic 01 15 2016 E Edition Page 6

B art Starr is many things to people. Hes the legendary Green Bay Packers quar- terback, who ran the offense for legendary coach Vince Lombardi, who led the legendary Green Bay Packers to glory. Hes the former Green Bay Pack- ers coach, who despite limited success coaching, gave the Packers hope for a brighter tomorrow. Hes the huge supporter of the Rawhide Ranch, a faith-based, non-profit organization located just south of New London, Wis., that provides residential programs for delinquent and emotionally disturbed adoles- cent boys. Above everything, hes one of the kindest, gen- tlest men youd ever want to meet. Back in the mid 1990s, at a fundraiser in Green Bay, I had the once- in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Starr, shake his hand and chat for a few minutes. He was gracious, he was talkative, he was well a Starr in a room of more than 400 people. Ill never forget that day, nor will I forget Thanks- fiving night at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Brett Favre, revered by many as the greatest quarterback in Packer history, was at Lambeau to have his number retired following his induction in the Packer Hall of Fame this past summer. From the outset, Favre said he really wanted Starr to be there, right with him, to enjoy an honor that is bestowed upon a precious few. The likelihood of that happening seemed highly unlikely. Starrs health had been failing miserably. Only a little more than a year ago, two strokes and a heart attack robbed him of his memory and much of his ability to speak and walk. He endured not one, but two stem-cell treatments. So, like millions of other TV watchers many Packer fans, others just fans of football - I watched as Favre braved the frigid elements and addressed the Packer faithful. When Fa- vre finished speaking, the camera quickly found Starr and his lovely wife, Cherry, who doubled as the golf cart driver, as the duo made their way over to Favre. The fans were delirious at the sight of seeing two Hall of Fame legends together, on the hallowed Lambeau grass for perhaps the inal time. Starr, 81, gritted, hobbled off the cart and then, exhibiting a smile that literally lit up Lambeau, met Favre. Their eyes locked in on one another, and Starr took a few steps toward Favre. Then, as if by the grace of Almighty God, his arms wrapped around Favres neck and they embraced. There was love, there was admiration, there was respect. Let me say this. Ive seen many touching, poignant moments in sports history. Ive watched retirement speeches, heartfelt eulogies and stories of courage and perseverance in overcoming illness or injury. Yet, Ive never seen anything like that. It was, for 10 seconds, the most beautiful, majestic sports scene ever. It left me with chills that evening, chills that remained the next day and chills that still radi- ate up and down my spine as I write this piece. Two amazing men, two amazing careers united as one. One who has always been in the hearts of Packers fans, another who needed to reconcile fol- lowing a contentious exit eight years ago. Yes, the night belonged to Favre. But in some small way, with the help of answered prayers and the loving arms of Jesus, the shining Starr was a man named Bart. In the end, we wont remember who won or lost the game, the temperature at game time, or who started at right tackle for the Packers. What we will remember are two icons sharing center stage in a moment that many wish could be frozen in time. LaJoie is a member of St. Paul Catholic Church in Negaunee. He welcomes reactions to his column at jlajoie@charter.net. 6 January 15, 2016 THE U.P. CATHOLIC COMMENTARY www.upcatholic.org FAITH FORMATION COORDINATOR Holy Family Parish in Marinette, WI is seeking a Faith Formation Coordinator. The full time position would start on June 1, 2016 for grades K-11. Responsibilities include but not limited to coordinating all sacramental programs, recruit and train catechists and develop an effective outreach/education program with parents of students. Also, serves as Local Safe Environment Coordinator for the parish. Qualified candidates should have completed or be working toward Diocesan Faith Formation Certification. Resumes can be mailed to: Fr. Celestine Byekwaso, 2715 Taylor St., Marinette, WI 54143 For more information, contact Pamela Meyers, Office Manager at 715-735-9100 ext. 108 Starr, Favre embrace at Lambeau is one for the ages FROM THE SIDELINES Jim LaJoie BUT IN SOME SMALL WAY, WITH THE HELP OF ANSWERED PRAYERS AND THE LOVING ARMS OF JESUS, THE SHINING STARR" WAS A MAN NAMED BART. Find full issues of The U.P. Catholic online at www.upcatholic.org

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