I will keep you posted as the games progress – there are a lot of  fun and interesting statistics involved with this international edition of Clericus Cup. The final, by the way, will be played on Saturday, May 26.

The images shown below are from past matches.


The Italian acronym CSI has nothing to do with crime scenes and forensics experts and everything to do with sports, in particular football – or, as it is called in the States, soccer. CSI stands for Centro Sportivo Italiano – Italian Sports Center – whose initiative, the Clericus Cup, kicks off this Saturday in Rome.

Under the sponsorship of the Italian Episcopal Conference and its pastoral ministry for Sports and Leisure, CSI is promoting Clericus Cup 2018, a soccer tournament open to seminarians and priests from colleges, universities, convents and pontifical seminaries in the city and province of Rome. The first games are scheduled for February 24 in the elimination phase.

The North American College, the U.S. national seminary in Rome, has played every year in this tourney and the team, the North American Martyrs, have won several championships.

The idea for this Cup might have come from remarks made years ago by then Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, an avid soccer fan who has, even as cardinal, had announced soccer matches on Italian radio for his beloved Turin team, Juventus.

He once jokingly told Italian reporters, “I do not rule out that in the future the Vatican could form a top soccer team of the level of Inter or Roma,” – other top notch Italian teams. He added that the Holy See, for example, could form “a magnificent team” by drawing on the hundreds of Brazilian students at its pontifical universities around the world.

The Clericus Cup Rules and Regulations are posted on the CSI web site, and include information on uniforms and game dates. There is no cost but players must enrol in CSI and there may be from 14 to 20 players on a team. Each team can field 11 players. Matches will be played on Saturdays, say the Rules, and will last one hour instead of the 90 minutes for professional soccer.

In American football, there is what is known as the “Hail Mary pass,” a forward pass thrown in a moment of desperation whose chances of being caught usually range from little to nil. Will players in the Clericus Cup have a Hail Mary kick?

Let the Games begin!



In case you missed the link I posted on Twitter and on Facebook, here is video of the final morning of Pope Francis and members of the Roman Curia on retreat in Ariccia, as well as their return to Vatican City (Vatican Media):


Welcome to Vatican Insider on this last weekend of February when my very special guest in the interview segment is Archbishop Bashar Ward of Erbil, northern Iraq to whom I spoke during his brief time in Rome with other Chaldean bishops on their ad limina visit. We spoke after he had appeared on EWTN’s News Nightly show and just before his departure for the U.S. where he has been giving talks at universities and creating both awareness of and funding for the plight of Christians in Iraq. As you may know, there are strong Chaldean Catholic communities in Detroit and San Diego in the United States.

In the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (there is a list of U.S. stations at or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio. Outside the U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” Vatican Insider airs Saturday mornings at 9:00am (ET). On the SKY satellite feed to the UK and parts of Europe, VI airs on audio channel 0147 at 11:30 am CET on Saturdays, and 5:30am and 10pm CET on Sundays. It’s also available on demand on the EWTN app and on the website. CHECK YOUR TIME ZONE. Here’s a link to download VI to your iTunes library: For VI archives:


Pope Francis and the Roman Curia concluded their spiritual exercises this morning – a retreat that had begun late last Sunday afternoon on the theme “In praise of Thirst.”

The last meditation of Fr.José Tolentino Mendoça focussed on the “Beatitudes of Thirst” and concluded his cycle of meditations on thirst.
By Sr.Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp

The Beatitudes: Matthew sets the scene on the mountain. We therefore understand that “He is creating a parallel between Jesus and the figure of Moses—between the presentation of the Old Law, the Decalogue, and that of the New Law, the Beatitudes.”

The Beatitudes are our path

The Beatitudes are more than a law. They are, rather “ configuration of life, a true existential call.”In this way, they enlighten the path for the Church and for humanity as we journey toward an eschatological horizon.

The Beatitudes are a self-portrait of Jesus

Jesus’ Beatitudes are not only words that he proclaimed. “They represent the key by which to read his entire life.” We find in Jesus a model for living each of the Beatitudes. Above all, for us Christians, they are a “elf-portrait of the one who pronounced them.” Fr. Tolentino says that for Jesus this self-portrait “is an image of himself which he is constantly revealing to us and imprints on our hearts.” It is the model that we should use in order to “transform our own image.”

How are we proclaiming the Beatitudes?

God desires that our life be lived according to the beatitudes. “But what have we made of the Gospel of the Beatitudes? How have we proclaimed it? How do we put it into practice?” Do we see those who mourn, those who are in need of consolation, those who hunger and thirst for justice, the peacemakers?” If we do, Fr.Tolentino observes, “by being at their side,” the Church will rediscover her mission.

Beatitude people

The parable that best describes “Beatitude people” is that of the wedding guests (Luke 14:15-24). After the invited guests refuse to come, the “poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame” are invited. “The Church is not an exclusive club, closed, happy in measuring who to exclude. She must keep the doors open and, in an inclusive key, mirror in herself the world’s crossroads.”