CLEVELAND, Ohio – In the depths of Progressive Field, a reverent calm takes over on home-game Sunday mornings.
In the post-game room usually reserved for press conferences, the Rev. Michael Gurnick celebrates Mass, creating a community for anyone in the Indians organization and the opposing team.
It takes Rev. Gurnick and two trusted pastoral assistants, Teresa Szary and Katy Doman, about 30 minutes or so to transform the room into a church. For Easter, they brought 15 purple-potted lilies adorning a makeshift altar, a small crucifix watching over the faithful.
The Progressive Field logo backdrop you see in post-game interviews is shielded by a small white screen behind a makeshift altar. In the spirit of Mass being a true community, the congregation is a montage: Workers wearing blue golf shirts adorned with the red block C stroll in. Players from both teams take communion wearing warmup shorts and sit alongside front-office executives, ushers and others from the Indians’ workforce.
It’s hard to believe this is where players sit before the media after games, power drinks and digital recorders laid out on the podium with a cluster of television cameras in the back.