Under Cowher, monks could report to Chapel as late as 4 AM; now they’ll be expected at 2 AM for stretching and light prayers

LATROBE -- When the Mike Tomlin era begins today at St. Vincent’s College, Steeler players won’t be the only ones to notice a difference in the schedule and intensity of camp. “With all due respect, I think the Benedictines have become a little complacent in the last few years,” Tomlin said. “I want them to come out of training camp as a unified, hardened group. I put a great deal of time into developing a new regimen for them. Monastic traditions may go back hundreds of years, but those traditions don't help this sorry, tired order today. If the Franciscans or the Jesuits or the Capuchins come along and challenge our Benedictines, I want my monks to be prepared to whip their asses.”

Archabbot Douglas Nowicki was taken aback by Tomlin’s comments. “Mike seemed happy with our work at mini-camp, so this comes as something as a surprise. Plus he has to remember that we don’t get a fresh group of draftees in here every year. Most of the monks are as old as Dan Rooney.”

When told of the Archabbot’s comments, Tomlin replied, “I know it’s not going to be comfortable for them, but they’ll thank me when Holy Week rolls around and they have to perform every single day, not just on Sundays.”

Fr. Nowicki said his monks started praying for Tomlin as soon as Tomlin announced his plans for them. “We’re praying that he’ll reconsider his decision. Barring that, we’re asking God to physically, and with tremendous force, knock some sense into him on our behalf, like He did to St. Paul on the road to Damascus.”