October 27, 2017

Coach makes the point that faith should guide players’ lives

By John Shaughnessy

Bill RumelyFor Bill Rumely, one of the best parts about coaching in the archdiocese’s Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) is the requirement that every child has to play a significant amount during a game.

“I really do relish that concept,” says Rumely, who has been coaching CYO volleyball for 22 years at St. Michael Parish in Greenfield. “I make sure everyone on the team gets a shared and equal sense of playing time. My philosophy is that whether we win or lose, we get better and we have a good time. When you see them get better and accomplish things they want to accomplish, they get excited about it—and that brings me a lot of joy.”

So does the faith element of his coaching.

“We pray before and after each practice and game,” says the father of two grown daughters. “I really like the spontaneous prayers where they throw in their special intentions. And when we haven’t prayed yet, they come up and remind me.”

Rumely’s commitment to young people and their faith has always extended beyond the volleyball court, too. For 15 years, he trained altar servers at the parish. He has led youth ministry retreats, and he continues to lead about 40 parish youths each Thanksgiving in helping serve meals to people in need. He’s also a lector, a cantor and an extraordinary minister of holy Communion at his parish.

“I get a lot of that from my mom. She always taught all eight of us that this is your parish, and we have to take charge of some of the responsibilities. As a layperson, I feel we have the responsibility to help with the faith formation of our youth,” says Rumely, who has been married for 39 years to his wife, Elyse.

“My faith is the cornerstone of my existence. It’s what you turn to when you need help, when you have issues, when you feel good and you need to be thankful. I try to convey that to the youth. I want them to see the importance of their faith being the cornerstone of their lives. I want them to keep that close to them.” †


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