HOUSTON - Baseball is certainly about spirit, and, some would argue, also about spirituality.
Just across Texas Avenue from Minute Maid Park stands the Annunciation Catholic Church. It's almost 150 years old. It was located there before the Astros or Minute Maid Park. That history and the geography combined seem to make it the team's closest spiritual partner.
Since it is just across the street, Astros team members' families often go to the church to worship, as do fans.
The church isn’t shy about showing its support. A sign outside announces that worshipers can choose to light orange candles at the altar now.
The church also recently raffled a Craig Biggio autographed bat to raise money for building improvements.
The church is now offering World Series edition rosaries at $15 to $40 each. Since August, about 1,000 have been sold through the church's website and Facebook page.
“Oh my gosh, we have emails, Facebook requests -- we can’t keep up with them,” said Elsie Hernandez, the church's director of development.
The Rev. Paul Felix said there’s a place for faith in every aspect of life, and that includes baseball. In this case, he said, it's a healing experience.
“You could say the hail Mary isn’t just for football,” Felix said.
Just as Houstonians gathered as a community to recover from Hurricane Harvey, he said the city has come together to celebrate the something more positive: the Astros.
“We are certainly going to cheer the team on and do our best to be part of that winning solution, you know, and that is very much a part of the ethos here in Houston," Felix said.
He said the Astros' quest for excellence through teamwork is an example for living well, especially for children.
Felix said as the Astros face off for the World Series Championship, he is praying for them.
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