On Wednesday, May 23, 2018, during the General Audience held in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis met with 16 representatives of teams, taking part in the 12th edition of the “Clericus Cup” international soccer championship for priests and seminarians, reported L’Osservatore Romano.
The Holy Father was given jerseys of two finalist teams — of the Urban Pontifical College and of the North American Martyrs, which will play the “Clericus Cup” final on May 26.
The two captains — South African Sifiso Ndlovu and American William Nyce — gave the Pontiff personalized jerseys with the name Francis and the words: “Where each jersey has a soul,” which is the slogan of the Italian Sports Center, promoter of the tournament. The championship is organized under the patronage of the National Tourist and Sports Office of the Italian Episcopal Conference, of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, and of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
“Far from shutting themselves away in protected clerical milieus, the championship offers seminarians and young student priests in Rome the occasion to make of sport an instrument of education and of proclamation of the Gospel, especially for young people.”
The kick-off of the 12th edition of the “Clericus Cup” was given on February 24-25, 2018. For the first timer this year, a priest is the referee: Father Jordan Coraglia, 43, Italian priest of the diocese of Brescia.