Joseph Fitzgerald competed in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta on the U.S. team handball squad. Now a Catholic priest, he is on a different mission as head of vocations for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, entrusted with recruiting men to the priesthood at a time when they are sorely needed.

Credit: Holy Trinity High School

Father Joseph Fitzgerald conducts Ash Wednesday Mass at Holy Trinity High School in 2011.

Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Father Joseph Fitzgerald at St. Pius Catholic Church in Plainview on Nov. 1, 2014. The Olympian has taken on another calling -- to recruit more priests in the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

Credit: AP / Michael Probst

Joseph Fitzgerald shoots over Russia's Sergei Pogorelov and Lev Voronin during the Olympic team handball event in Atlanta on July 25, 1996.

Credit: Holy Trinity High School

The Rev. Joseph Fitzgerald coaching the freshmen football team at Holy Trinity High School in Hicksville in October 2011.

Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The Rev. Joseph Fitzgerald during a moment of silence while speaking to seventh- and eighth-graders during their retreat at St. Pius Catholic Church in Plainview on Nov. 1, 2014.

Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Seventh- and eighth-graders share a moment of silence with the Rev. Joseph Fitzgerald during a retreat at St. Pius Catholic Church in Plainview on Nov. 1, 2014.

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