The UConn Huskies' last two National Championships had something in common. Coach Jim Calhoun had two very special cheerleaders in the stands for both -- Mother Shaun Vergauwan and Sister Mary Richards.
Instead of accompanying the team to Detroit, the two Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist will be home entertaining a special visitor from the Vatican this weekend, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran.
“Is it disappointing? Sure. But we know this is where we belong,” said Sister Mary. “He’s coming to Boston College on Thursday and on Friday he’s giving a talk, so he’s coming to spend the weekend with us.”
Mother Shaun broke the news to Coach Calhoun and told him their prayers will be heard from Connecticut.
“I told him, because we have the Cardinal and the 30-some of us here, we’ll be praying even more. So we’ll be praying. We’ll all be watching, I’m sure,” she said.
Mother Vergauwan says her absence from the stands at the Final Four might be a good this weekend. She told the Meriden Record Journal she attended two of the Huskies' regular season losses this year.
Mother Shaun has all the faith UConn will fight to the finish.
“And they’ve come through a lot, through a lot of adversity both the coach and the team. I feel they are very strong. I feel they’re very well-knit as a team, and they’ve played very well in the games leading up to the Final Four,” said Mother Shaun.