Skip to comments.Priest Officiates Play From Above (at US Open)
Posted on 09/03/2011 2:32:35 PM PDT by NYer
So a Catholic priest walks onto a tennis court. Seriously. It happens, for Father Paul Arinze, every day at the United States Open.
Often, Arinze climbs into the chair, as a certified bronze badge umpire. There, he officiates serves, not church services, matches instead of Mass. Below, players cross themselves and pray for victory or take the Lord’s name in vain. They do not know that while God may not be interested in their tennis match, a clergyman is watching from close range.
“Sometimes, I’m tempted to say, ‘You know, you have a Catholic priest sitting here,’ ” Arinze said, reclining on a bench during a break Wednesday. “But it’s O.K. Being a priest, you’re trained to forgive.”
By day, Arinze works as director of vocations for the Diocese of Madison, Wis. At tournaments, he trades his robes for the polo shirts worn by the officials, his altar for the chair. Some of his fellow umpires address him as Father Paul, or F.P., and on Sundays some follow him to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan.
Upon arrival at different tournaments, Arinze first finds the nearest Catholic church. There, his twin passions intersect, again.
They are, Arinze said, more similar than at first glance. In church and on the court, Arinze witnesses the extremes of human emotion, the best events of people’s lives and careers (baptisms and weddings, victories and championships) and also the worst (funerals and losses).
In both instances, there is no one best approach. The basics are the same, but the personalities are different, and thus the approach must be as well. The constant is dealing with people who mostly just want someone — a priest, an umpire — to listen to them, a private confession versus a public one.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
What do you know! Now watch if they try to get rid of him.
his name reminds me of Cardinal Arinze, I used to watch him on EWTN on Sundays...
File under: if you want something done, ask a busy person!