success stories

A Successful Way to Keep Priests From Getting Windy
Without Them Losing Their Wind

A unique 12-week fitness project for Baltimore City priests developed by Good Samaritan Hospital and sponsored by The Catholic Review, Baltimore archdiocesan newspaper is helping priests become fitter and significantly reduce their risk for heart disease.

[It is a program other archdioceses and dioceses could easily reduplicate with their newspapers and hospitals. Not only would it help keep our priests fit, but it would also be excellent PR for both the newspaper and hospitals.]

The experimental program allows archdiocesan priests, who rarely have time to exercise regularly, access to the hospital's Good Health Center any time of day or night.

Fr. Florek, a priest of the Archdiocese says:``If it hadn't been for that time flexibility, I don't think I could have kept up the five times a week I was able to do.”

This was seconded by other priests who said the program reduced feelings of stress and improved their attitude toward staying healthy as major benefits of the experience. And all of them want to continue the exercise program.

Other priests from the archdiocese like Father Joseph L. Muth Jr., 52, reported that the program provided ``a feeling of time-out'' by helping him turn down his stress level and trim his waistline.

Father James P. Farmer, 53, lost 10 pounds and increased his strength and flexibility. He also found the program ``helped to improve my ability to relax.''

Father Richard J. Bozzelli, 40, ``developed a new attitude toward health,'' becoming enlightened about how easily it can be obtained ``with just a little effort.''

His overall risk for heart disease was reduced by 11 percent.

Father Patrick M. Carrion, 45, worked out with some regularity before entering the Good Samaritan program, but found it ``challenged me to do even more. It raised the bar for me personally.''

Those priests who invested the most time reaped the most health rewards. Most encouraging of all, was the participants’ commitment to the program and the desire it provoked in them to increase or add to their lifestyles regular exercise and more thoughtful attention to their diets.