Pittsburgh priest faithful to the Fighting Irish

PITTSBURGH, Pa.-- Saturday night one Irish fan might be calling on some heavenly powers to help the team get the win over the Panthers. ABC 57 found a Pittsburgh priest that lives and breathes Notre Dame football.

Meet Father John Haney. A priest at St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Pittsburgh who is very loyal to two things: God and the one and only University of Notre Dame.

“I just can’t say enough about Notre Dame, I’m crazy about it,” Father Haney said.

When Father Haney was a young boy, his father took him to a Pitt-Notre Dame game in Pittsburgh where tens of thousands of Irish fans were in attendance, and he says he didn't understand how powerful the bond was among Notre Dame fans until he set foot on the university's campus.

“I said what’s this all about dad? And he said you’ll grow up and you’ll find out. Well, I did grow up finally and I did find out. When I was a young priest, a couple of parishioners used to take me out to the games for weekends. Boy, I just fell in love with the place from that time on,” Father Haney said.

To Father Haney, the Notre Dame tradition is the definition of the game of football.

“All of the games are exciting. It’s a clean atmosphere and a lot of fun. It’s what football should be about really,” Father Haney said.

He says he has complete faith in his Fighting Irish to pull out the win over his hometown's Pitt Panthers.

“Notre Dame 21 to 17. We’ll give Pitt an extra touchdown, but Notre Dame will beat them,” Father Haney said.

Unfortunately, Father Haney will not be able to attend Saturday's game because he'll be tied up with duties at his church, but says he will be rushing home to catch the final score.

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