Non Nobis Domine


On May 3rd, after their final regular season rugby match, Gregory the Great Academy’s Highlanders knelt and sang the Non Nobis Domine, as every Highlander has for over two decades: the same red jersey, the familiar numbers on each back, but a different field, different dusty faces with heads bowed: Not unto us, O Lord, but to thy name give the glory.

Rugby has long occupied a central role in the education that the boys receive at Gregory the Great Academy. While high school boys need to run around, rugby has always been something much more than a cathartic pastime. It both reflects and unites the central virtues of our education.

There is a ritual to each rugby game. While it concludes with a hymn of praise, it begins with a Welsh war song, “Men of Harlech:”

See the glare of fires like hell there,
Tongues of flame that writhe and swell there.
Brave men strike with full-voiced yell there:
Forward with all might.

So framed in poetry and prayer, each match itself shares something of both its beginning and its end. Each well executed play finds that gap in the defensive line like the poet who finds that perfect word to complete his rhyme scheme. A moment of beautiful execution building to create the whole, a beautiful poem or a great game of rugby. Each tackle a grappling with fear, an act of virtuous courage offered Non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam.

The true Highlander, like any man who possess true manly virtue, is no brute bent on destruction, but a fiercely joyful soul at play, making an offering of his exquisite playfulness. The Highlanders will be playing their first post-season match on May 10th in Pittsburgh. May God’s guidance and your prayers support them in the contest.

by John Bascom, Assistant Coach

Highlanders Victorious in First Rugby Match: 21 – 18

The Highlanders have begun their 2015 rugby season with a scrimmage against a talented and experienced club team based out of Harrisburg, PA, currently ranked 16th in the nation. The Highlanders started the match with strong ball carries and technically powerful tackles. The snow on the pitch and in the air was affecting both teams, but both teams compensated for the elements with ingenious decision-making. After a second-half rally from the opposition, who took the lead with 5 minutes left in the match, the Highlanders created an opportunity and accelerated through the try zone to dot the ball down under the posts and secure the victory, 21-18.

Post match we were treated to warm drinks, and home-prepared food by the hosting team and their spectators.  I am very proud of our Highlanders. They have put into practice the core values of our athletic program – High Work Rate, Focus, Discipline, Team Unity, and Courage.

They achieve High Work Rate by putting in all the hard miles to be prepared to play rugby that is a balance between an intellectual and physical style game.

They learn Focus by executing our game plan, and not being distracted by factors out of our control.

They become Disciplined by controlling emotions in the face of difficulty.

They form Team Unity by sacrificing for the sake of the team, and ultimately giving glory to God.

They find Courage when they are conscious of their fears, and actively face them with an undeterred attitude.

Pray to St. Sebastian that the Highlanders have a successful season.