Franciscan

Fr. Hilarion's 40 yard dash

Why is this man running?

BY TONI CASHNELLI

Asked by son Michael to run 40 yards for a good cause, David O’Brien had a better idea.

He asked Fr. Hilarion Kistner to do it instead.

David, CFO for St. John the Baptist Province, is a pretty athletic guy, as is his 19-year-old son. It was Michael who heard about the #RunRichRun campaign, through which the NFL Network raises funds for and awareness of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. The premise: Take a video of yourself or someone else running a 40-yard dash, preferably in "work clothes", and post it to Twitter using the hashtags, #RunRichRun and #StJude.

This year the NFL Network is donating $1 to the hospital for every use of those hashtags on social media.

"I had every intention of doing it," says David, who is slightly off his game from a torn meniscus. Then one day Hilarion stopped by the office and a lightbulb went off. David said, "We should get you to run the 40-yard dash in your work clothes." Hilarion, who was active in sports in his school days, readily agreed.

By the way, David just turned 50. Hilarion will be 88 on his next birthday, March 27.

"What do you think of recording it?" David asked us. Of course, we loved the idea. The day of the run, he and Marilyn Wilson trained cameras on Hilarion as he jogged north on Vine Street in front of St. Francis Seraph Friary in Cincinnati.

At the finish line, Hilarion kept going. When he finally stopped, he wasn’t the least bit winded.

David was impressed. More than that, "I was inspired."

As for Hilarion, he’s willing to do another fun run – all in the name of charity, of course.

To learn more about the NFL Network project, visit: http://www.nfl.com/runrichrun.)

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