Fr. Dave Anderson: The Seahawk's New Priest

Written by Kristina Alvarado
January 27, 2015

Dave Anderson, S.J., already ministers to Redhawks as chaplain for SU's alumni as well as the men's basketball team. Hawks of a different persuasion were recently added to his fold: Fr. Anderson is now one of two priests who celebrate mass for Catholic Seahawks players and coaches the night before their games.

It's a familiar role for Fr. Anderson. He had previously been filling in for the outgoing "Seahawks priest," Father Tom Belleque. In addition, Anderson had been celebrating mass for Catholic players and coaches on the visiting teams when they came to play the Seahawks. Now he's preaching to the good guys.
Of course for Anderson, it's not about influencing games. As he told Northwest Catholic, "I love the Seahawks and I want to see them win, but my primary interest is how can I go to those places where the Eucharist is not being offered? This is one of them.?

With a grueling schedule and Sunday games, worship isn?t readily accessible to many of the Seahawk?s devout. Dedication on the field can lead to a spiritual desert in the lives of professional athletes.
While he gathers with the whole team during team meetings, Fr. Dave presides a Catholic Mass for five team members ?? four coaches and one player ?? before each home game. ?Here we have five men who are devout Catholics,? Fr. Dave said, ?They want to celebrate Mass every week and during the season ?? when they have Sunday games ?? they will not be able to go to Mass because of their commitment to the team.??

Fr. Dave, who admires the commitment these men make to the body and the faith, carries Mass to them. Together, these five men and Fr. Dave pray and experience faith, connection and solidarity with one another before each home game. Together, God is felt.??Faith is all about relationships,? says Fr. Dave. After a short pause he adds, ?Faith is communal.? Faith, like a sports team, like being an alumnus and alumna, is centered upon community.?

Fr. Dave sees potential growth for his role, both at CenturyLink Field and Seattle University. ?I would like to connect the Seahawks and the Redhawks,? he shared. ?In the future, I want to be able to have Pete Carroll or a player come and speak on campus. What would they want to tell our students? What would they have to say to us? Pete Carroll has something to tell us of great value. He is a man of faith, living in a world often void of it.?