Vatican's Soccer Tourney Heats Up
...In Italy soccer is a hallowed game, taken almost as seriously as Catholicism, and the players were all business once the whistle was blown.
Amid screams from the coaches, pious slogans from the small crowd and T-shirts invoking the protection of the Virgin Mary, a motley crew of Latin Americans, Africans and Asians from the Collegio Mater Ecclesiae (Mother of the Church College) took on an all-Brazilian team fielded by the Gregorian University.
In a miraculous upset, the young Mater Ecclesiae players trounced the more experienced but portly Brazilians 6-0 as their fans chanted: "The Mother of the Church wants a goal!"
The tournament is also a second chance for many clergymen who left promising soccer careers to follow their spiritual calling, said Marco Rosales, a Mexican seminarian who coaches the Mater Ecclesiae team.
"Some on the team had a chance to play professionally, but the Lord called them to His team," he said.
(Actually, much of the article is about how the tournament is a nice counter-point to the violence at many professional soccer matches in Europe of late.)