By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, Staff Photographer | Published March 4, 2010
A cold 42-degree afternoon was not enough to contain the competitive spirit of more than 20 priests and seminarians as they gathered on a St. Jude the Apostle Church field for a game of soccer Feb. 25.
Father Richard Morrow, vicar for clergy, led the players in prayer before an all-out unleashing of soccer mania poured onto the field.
Father Henry Atem, parochial vicar at St. Peter Chanel Church, Roswell, scored the first goal for his team in white-clad jerseys, but Father Kizito Okeke, parochial vicar at St. Michael Church, Gainesville, scored the black-shirted team’s first goal to tie up the game, and Legionaries of Christ seminarian Gabriel Lewis scored a goal on an assist from Legionaries of Christ Father Eamonn Shelly to give the black shirts the lead. Minutes later Father Atem scored a second goal for the white shirts to tie the score at 2-2 before the end of the half.
The second half of play had three lead changes and two ties, but after the 5-5 mark the white-shirt team pulled out a 7-5 lead on goals by Father Jesus David Trujillo Luna, parochial vicar at St. George Church, Newnan, and Father Atem, respectively. Father Jorge Arevalo Alzate, parochial vicar at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta, brought the black-shirt team to within one goal, but the white-shirt team pulled away for good on two consecutive goals by Father Carlos Mario Bustamante, parochial vicar at St. Benedict Church, Johns Creek, and Father Fabio Sotelo, pastor of St. Michael Church, Gainesville.
While there were a few brushes with injury, all walked off the field under their own steam and participated in a social gathering in the St. Jude rectory at the conclusion of the game.
The next planned event, one of several held in conjunction with the Year for Priests, is a tennis tournament on April 7 in Gainesville.