19 February 2018

Former Manchester United player ordained as a priest

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A former Manchester United midfielder has been ordained a Catholic priest.

Philip Mulryne was yesterday ordained a priest for the Dominican Order (Order of Preachers) by His Grace Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia OP in Saint Saviour’s Church, Dominican Street.

Archbishop Augustine Di Noia is Assistant Secretary at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and he travelled from Rome to ordain Mulryne.

Born in Belfast in 1978, Mulryne was spotted by a scout for Manchester United Football Club and invited as a 14 year old to go to Manchester for a trial. After finishing secondary school, the midfielder signed a four-year contract at Old Trafford and made his debut in 1997 against Ipswich Town. He played five times in total for the first team before being sold to Norwich City in 1999, playing 135 times during a period of six years.

He made his debut for the Northern Ireland Football Team in 1997 against Belgium and went on to play 27 times for his country, scoring three goals.

He officially retired in 2009 and entered the Diocesan Seminary of Saint Malachy’s Belfast, spending two years studying philosophy at Queen’s University Belfast and at the Maryvale Institute.

Mulryne completed his studies in philosophy and went to the Pontifical Irish College, Rome, to study theology for one year at the Gregorian University before discerning a call to religious life. He entered the Dominican Novitiate House in Cork in 2012. He will be assigned to the Dominican priory in Newbridge later this summer and will join the chaplaincy team at Newbridge College.

During yesterday’s ceremony, Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia said:

“Whatever gain you had, you have counted as loss. In a real sense, your experience as an athlete has helped to prepare you for this moment: you have known the meaning of working hard to attain a goal, and now the goal is Christ. You are to be ordained to the priesthood so as to serve him – Teacher, Priest, and Shepherd – by whose ministry his body the Church grows into the people of God.”

2017.07.10 / 13:12
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