Pope Francis is introduced to Frisbee! Andrew Hochstedler, an American expat who plays with the Turkish Ultimate Team “Türk Kasi,” recently met the Pope in connection with the 2015 Assisi Youth Conference in Rome and presented a disc to him. The artwork on the disc presented shows the name of the team which was founded and led by Brother Hochstedler. The picture shows Pope Francis with the disc that was presented (photo by Joel Perera).
The Pope asked “What is it?" When Andrew responded "a Frisbee," the Pope looked at him blankly. When Andrew explained “two people throw it back and forth to share the joy with each other,” the Pope broke out in a broad smile and said “Well, that's great!" (“Bello! Bello!”). Andrew then went on to explain all about the “Spirit of the Game.”
Brother Hochstedler admitted that mentally he was “totally empty” when talking to the Holy Father, but was sure that he had touched deeply his own motivation to play this sport. In Turkey there now are 14 clubs in cities including Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Antalya – tremendous growth since Türk Kasi was founded several years ago.
In 2013 the Turkish Federation Oyunun Ruhu Derneği (ORD) was approved by WFDF as the national member association in Turkey. The name of the association translates as “Spirit of the Game” – the principle in Ultimate to which brother Hochstedler devoted his brief meeting with Francis.
Robert “Nob” Rauch, WFDF President, commented “it is always great to see Ultimate players serving as disc missionaries, whether to disadvantaged youngsters in developing countries or to someone in a position of great power such as the Pope. We can imagine that Pope Francis would have appreciated Brother Andrew’s enthusiasm in highlighting how “spirit of the game” helps him live out his faith.”
The picture above shows Pope Francis with the disc that was presented (photo by Joel Perera).