Cardinal Vincent welcomed the Vatican Cricket team to Archbishop’s House on Friday, 12 September as part of their ‘Light of Faith Tour’. The cricketers were accompanied by Mr John McCarthy, the Australian Ambassador to the Holy See, whose idea it was to create a cricket team for the Vatican.
The newly assembled team, captained by Englishman Fr Tony Currer and managed by Irishman Fr Eamonn O’Higgins, is comprised of seminarians, deacons and priests based in Rome. They will play four matches in the UK, the final one being a religious showdown against the Church of England’s cricket team in Canterbury on Friday, 19 September. The proceeds from the game are being donated to the Global Freedom Network, an anti-trafficking campaign which has Catholic, Anglican and Muslim backing.
After hearing about the inception of the team and meeting all the players, Cardinal Vincent remembered fondly his own days playing cricket in Rome when he was a seminarian. He described the friendly rivalry on the pitch between the different colleges and how sport fostered a sense of community among seminarians from all over the world.
Although the Anglican team go into the game the favourites, Fr O’Higgins was keen to stress the result was of little importance and it was the ecumenical gesture and friendship, as well as the experience of playing on a county cricket ground, which was important to the team. They hope this will be the first tour of many, with Ambassador McCarthy looking to the cricketing powerhouses in the East for the next tour.
For more information on the Global Freedom Network, click HERE
For tickets to Friday’s match against the Church of England, click HERE
For more photos, click HERE