Home   |  About Us   |  Contacts   |  Products    
 News Items:
 Headlines
 News Briefs
 Stories
 Movies
 Word To Life
 More News:
 Vatican
 Africa
 Special Sections:
 2006 in review
 Inside the Curia
 Archives:
 Vatican II at 40
 John Paul II
 Other Items:
 Client Area
 Links
 Origins
.
 Did You Know...

 The whole CNS
 public Web site
 headlines, briefs
 stories, etc,
 represents less
 than one percent
 of the daily news
 report.

 Get all the news!

 If you would like
 more information
 about the
 Catholic News
 Service daily
 news report,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 cns@
 catholicnews.com
 or
 (202) 541-3250

.
 Copyright:

 This material
 may not
 be published,
 broadcast,
 rewritten or
 otherwise
 distributed.
 
 Copyright
 (c) 2006
 Catholic News
 Service/U.S.
 Conference of
 Catholic Bishops.

 CNS Story:

CLERICUS CUP Feb-21-2007 (410 words) With photos posted Feb. 20 and 21. xxxi

Priests, seminarians to kick off exclusive soccer championship

By Alicia Ambrosio
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- Students at Pontifical North American College are among those competing in the first Clericus Cup, a soccer championship exclusively for priests and seminarians in Rome.

Seminaries and pontifical universities have fielded 16 teams for the championship series, with 311 players coming from approximately 50 countries. The series is to open Feb. 24 when Pontifical Gregorian University plays Pontifical International College Maria Mater Ecclesiae.

The championship game will be in June.

North American College, the U.S. seminary in Rome, plays its first game March 3 against Pontifical Urbanian University, an institution for seminarians from mission countries.

North American College had an informal team that occasionally played teams from other seminaries, said Jaime Gil, player and coach.

When the invitation came to enter a team in the Clericus Cup, the response from players at the college was enthusiastic, Gil said.

"I was surprised because we're all busy with our studies, and it's hard to find time to play sometimes," Gil said.

Gil, who was born and grew up in Mexico, said he started playing soccer at age 6. He considered a professional career in soccer and during his high school years was called to join the Michoacan state team.

Gil said he realized that as much as he loved soccer his true vocation was to the priesthood. He turned down the invitation to join the state team, finished high school and moved to Boise, Idaho, to start his formation as a priest.

"This (the Clericus Cup series) is a way for me to do both," he said, referring to his love of soccer and his vocation to the priesthood.

The Catholic Italian Sports Center, which organized the series, described the team from Pontifical Urbanian University as physically strong.

However, Gil said he was not worried by the description.

"Skillswise we're still learning, but we have the advantage that all our players have experience playing team sports. We know how to play as a team," said Gil.

There will be a few technical differences between Clericus Cup games and regular league soccer games. Clericus Cup games will consist of 30-minute halves instead of 45-minute halves.

Referees also will have another penalty option. In addition to the yellow warning card and red expulsion card, they can hand out a blue card, which requires an overly aggressive player to leave the field for five minutes.

END


Copyright (c) 2007 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250