Nuns at oldest church in Cincinnati pray for Burrow, Bengals to heal city’s wounds

The nuns know to pray when they hear shouting from the nearby bars. Every time they’ve done it, the Bengals have won.
Published: Feb. 11, 2022 at 10:46 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OVER-THE-RHINE, Ohio (WXIX) – Nuns from Old St. Mary’s Church have been praying for the Bengals to win during the past three victory games.

“I was praying to St. Joseph for Joe Burrow. I said, ‘St. Joseph, you got to get Joe Burrow’s back,’” said Sr. Marie-Cecile, Carmelite Daughters of Elias.

The sisters live in a convent on Clay street near Rhinehaus and Longfellow bars where they can hear fans in the streets.

“I could hear people booing or cheering, so you know what’s going on because we don’t have a television,” said Marie-Cecile.

When the Sisters could hear people booing, that’s when they knelt down and began to pray. The Bengals proceeded to beat the Raiders 26-19.

“They said, ‘Oh, there was a change in the end, so keep doing it,’” said Marie-Cecile.

“You get teased a lot, ‘You’re praying for football players,’ and you’re like, ‘Yea we are!’ We’re praying for them too, but we’re really praying for the good that it’ll do for the city,” said Sr. Ioanna Marie, Carmelite Daughters of Elias.

“So we checked the score, and there was a minute left, actually 40 seconds left, and it was a tie, so we all knelt down and we prayed the nine Memorares,” said Marie-Cecile.

The Bengals defeated the Titans 19-16.

“And then you hear the people screaming in the eighth of the nine Memorares, and you’re like, ‘Oh! This is working! This is really awesome,’” said Ioanna Marie.

The Nuns said they’re praying for the Bengals to win the Super Bowl because of the way the previous wins have united the community.

With shutdowns, job losses and illnesses, the city has been divided. Marie-Cecile said since the Bengals have been winning, the same people she witnessed fighting in the streets are now hugging after the games.

Old St. Mary’s Church will be 180 years old next month, making it the oldest standing church in Cincinnati. Marie-Cecile said the church was also built by the community.

“The bricks were baked in the parishioners’ ovens. It wasn’t just like having a lot of money and building a church. They were rich people, they were poor people, it was everyone coming together and doing what they could.”

The same collaboration it took to build the church, is similar to the communion she is witnessing through the people of Cincinnati because of the victories of the Bengals football team.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.

Copyright 2022 WXIX. All rights reserved.