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Serving the Faithful Since 1960

You'll be inspired, motivated and filled with hope after reading this book about the wit and wisdom of a great chaplain.

Holy Smokes! Golden Guidance from Notre Dame’s Championship Chaplain focuses on the life and winning advice of conservative clergyman, Fr. James Riehle. At his 2008 funeral mass, the university’s late president, Theodore Hesburgh, eulogized Riehle as “one of the great ones at Notre Dame, in a quiet way.”

The compelling, humorous and entertaining stories in the book are entertaining and thoughtful. Anecdotes and endorsements for the book came from prominent athletes, coaches and broadcasters such as Joe Montana, Joe Theismann, Reggie Brooks, “Rocket” Ismail, “Digger” Phelps, Ara Parseghian, Dick Vitale and others. It also features a powerful foreword from former national championship football coach, Lou Holtz, and devotes each chapter to a different way to improve your life.

Early in his life, Fr. Riehle was a competitive athlete and was the captain of his high school hockey team. He became a priest at age 39 and appeared in the movie “Rudy,” when he said the “Hail Mary” prayer before the walk-on team member played his only game. Fr. Riehle also played the role of a priest in an Adidas television commercial with football hall-of-famer Joe Montana.

Notre Dame’s championship chaplain won four national titles with three different head football coaches. He guided players, coaches, administrators and many others of various faiths and backgrounds to overcome adversity and become successful on and off the athletic field. Fr. Riehle took a key role in helping Notre Dame attain impressive athletic success and in limiting campus turmoil during the Vietnam War era when he headed discipline at the university.

“Paul Dykewicz entertainingly captures the wisdom and guidance that Notre Dame’s legendary sports chaplain offered for decades to athletes, coaches, students and so many others. Fr. Riehle served as a master motivator, a calming influence and a rock-like spiritual presence to help turn obstacles into opportunities.”
—Joe Theismann, quarterbacked Notre Dame and Super Bowl-winning Washington Redskins