Nearly 200 of Australia’s future priests swapped their studies for studded boots last weekend for their annual inter-seminary soccer competition in Sydney.
Parramatta diocese’s Holy Spirit Seminary and the Redemptoris Mater Seminaries of Sydney and Perth co-hosted this year’s day-long battle for sporting glory.
Rector of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary Sydney Fr Eric Skruzny said that what began as a local derby 20 years ago between Sydney’s Good Shepherd and Wagga Wagga’s Vianney seminaries has developed into “an amazing institution and a really beautiful initiative thanks to the support of our seminaries from around Australia”.
“The excitement and energy around this competition is formidable,” he said.
This time Corpus Christi College of Melbourne won its first ever trophy by defeating Queensland’s Holy Spirit Seminary in the grand final with a score of 1-0 in the dying moments of the game by Melbourne’s Deacon Fidelis.
Seminarians and staff had gathered at Redemptoris Mater in Chester Hill on the Friday for a night for prayer and paiella to power them up for the day’s play.
Holy Spirit Seminary of Parramatta organised the playing fields and a BBQ lunch at Patrician Brother’s High School at Blacktown.
Sydney’s auxiliary Bishop Tony Randazzo concluded the tournament by celebrating Mass on Saturday, which was followed by a banquet and award ceremony.
Fr Skruzny said the competition is a valuable collaboration facilitates friendships between formators and seminarians which will help them off the field in future years.
“The future priests of Australia know that they are not alone, that theirs is not a dying vocation and that they will have friends wherever they travel to in Australia for mission or for leisure,” he said.
Corpus Christi College, Melbourne, and the Missionaries’ of God’s Love will co-host next year’s competition in Melbourne.