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VIII European Championship on mini-soccer among priests
Thursday, 27 February 2014 18:13

The silver medals were won by the priests from Croatia who also showed high soccer level.
Portugal priests won the third place and bronze medals. Their game was very dedicated and professional too.
There was quite a number of official people present on the closing ceremony, among whom one could find the executive bishop of Grodno diocese Joseph Staneusky and the Secretary of Apostolic Nuncioture in Belarus Rev. Fr. Filippo Ciampanelli.

Sport complex "Olympia" gathered lots of soccer lovers from all over the country who arrived to Lida to support the priests, especially the Belarusian team from their Homeland. Although our priests received only the forth place, their fans were still glad and happy, because the soccer was intense and interesting, and the 4th place is still quite honourable.

The first Vice-Minister of sport and recreation in Belarus Mr. Alexandr Gagiyev welcomed everyone on behalf of the Ministry. Mr. Gagiyev expressed his hopes that all people who visited Belarus for the Championship had cordial and good impressions from our country. Alexandr Gagiyev congratulated also on the results for the winners and everyone who took place in the event.

Also, the head of Lida municipal administration Mr. Alexandr Ostrovsky congratulated heartily participants of the Championship and expressed his high hopes that visitors liked Lida city and its people. The head of Lida invited everyone to the region anytime.

Monsignor Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz addressed all the people at "Olympia" with special words. First of all, the Monsignor thanked God for the possibility to hold such a big sport event in Belarus, for the honour and blessings to hold it in Lida. As the Monsignor described, it speaks for the Church in Belarus being ready and strong enough to welcome the international events. The Archbishop marked that we should take our Evangelisation everywhere with us - also to stadiums.

Monsignor Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz added that Lord acts through people and expressed his gratitude to the organizers of the Championship, especially to fr. Pawel Solobuda, Ministry of sport and recreation, Lida municipal administration and everyone who supported the event being on such high level. Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz thanked also to the fans who helped so much to the players from all the country-participants.

The Monsignor read out the letter from Apostolic Nuncio in Belarus Claudio Gugerotti. In his letter the representative of Holy See welcomed everyone under the name of Holy Father Francis. "The Pope expressed his joy about the event among clergymen who are first of all united on the ground of their beliefs and service for God, and during the Championship also united by sport. This Championship underlines the value of the body given us by Lord and of sport competition as leading for a certain aim with cordial dedication and self-commitment. It's a great opportunity to show the world the joy of life that distinguishes Christians, including certainly the priests," - underlined the Apostolic Nuncio.
After his speech the Monsignor addressed the participants of the Championship on different languages, expressing his gratitude for visiting Belarus, for their good intentions, enthusiasm and great soccer.

Grodno diocese feels very honoured to host the Championship. More than 170 priests took part in the 8th soccer Championship. They came from Belarus, Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Croatia and Montenegro.

Among all these it is noteworthy to mention the great commitment of Belarusian priests to this event. They initiated the organization of it to be held in Belarus and made their best efforts to support the highest level of the competition. The Conference of Catholic Bishops in Belarus that took the patronage of the Championship and Ministry of sport and recreation together with Lida municipal administration helped to the priests and supported their initiative.

So, after the Championship we can say with honour that our priest are great ones and we highly appreciate them.

Fr. Jerzy Martinowicz


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