Beckham Receives BBC Sports Personality Lifetime Achievement Award

David Beckham is world-famous:  footballer, model, cultural icon…and Catholic!  And most recently, Beckham claims the title of most the newest recipient of the BBC Sports Personality Lifetime Achievement Award, given for his remarkable and outstanding career both on and off the pitch.

Beckham’s has played for some of the biggest football (soccer) clubs in the world, such as Manchester United, AC Milan, Real Madrid.  He broke the salary barrier when he signed with US club L.A. Galaxy, thereby expanding the potential of US Soccer for future team-building.  He transformed from a national villian in 1998 into a hero in 2001 during his time playing for England.  Outside the realm of football, Beckham has made headlines for his outlandish sense of style, his modeling career, and his famous family.

The full list of Beckham’s contributions and achievements is far too long to post here, but let’s just put it this way: I “google imaged” Becks, and Google offered 3.3 million available photos of him.

As both a United and England supporter, I am forever a fan of David Beckham, and am very pleased with the BBC’s decision.  Congratulations, Becks.

Repurcussions Given to Priest Who Celebrated Soccer Mass

“Fr. Paul Vlaar, a priest in the Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam in the Netherlands, was suspended last week following a World Cup-themed Mass he presided over which was seen by his bishop as disrespectful to the Eucharist. Diocesan spokesman Wim Peeters explained that the priest had been warned by the bishop against frivolousness previously.

Bishop Joseph Punt of the Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam suspended Fr. Vlaar for “failure to respect the sanctity of the Eucharist” after he celebrated the Mass on the morning of the July 11 World Cup final, dressed in an orange chasuble.

Beginning Mass with a referee’s whistle, he consecrated the bread and wine at an altar adorned with flowers and candles in the team colors. He was also flanked by a child-sized soccer goal and banners and flags supporting the Dutch national team. The music chosen for the liturgy had nothing to do with the Eucharistic celebration at all.” – “Dutch Priest Suspended for Celebrating World Cup Mass”, A Catholic View

This article found over on A Catholic View was shocking to me. I cannot believe that an actual priest of the Catholic Church would think that beginning a Mass with a whistle, and hanging up soccer banners and flags would be okay to do. I do not see anything wrong with him sporting orange or having flowers and candles in the teams color, but anything more than that is way over the top. It is tough to see him punished for just having national pride, but there is a place and time for everything and Mass is a time for worship and praising God, not soccer.

Soccer Superstar Recently Converted to Catholicism

“The Argentinean daily La Nacion featured a story this week on the Dutch soccer player Wesley Sneijder, who scored the winning goal against Brazil in the World Cup quarter finals last week. The article revealed his conversion and baptism, which took place shortly before he traveled to South Africa for the tournament.

In an article entitled, “The Spiritual Goal of a Dutch Soccer Star,” journalist Mariano de Vedia said Sneijder arrived at the World Cup “completely renewed.”

“At the end of May he converted to Catholicism and was baptized in a chapel in Milan, where the brilliant soccer star plays for the Inter Soccer Team, receiving endless accolades.  He was influenced in his decision by his girlfriend, Dutch actress and model Yolanthe Cabau, who was born in the Spanish city of Ibiza and who he has decided to marry in the Church after the World Cup ends.”

“The faith gives me strength,” Sneijder said.  “My convictions often keep me strong and give me determination.  Everyday I pray the Our Father with her.  Before each game I always seek out a place to pray,” the soccer star added.”

I found this inspiring post over on The Catholic News Agency, it is titled, “Dutch soccer player who scored winning goal against Brazil is Catholic convert”. This soccer superstar has found strength and solace in being Catholic and it seems to be helping his already sterling playing abilities. Scoring the game winning goal against the Brazilians is quite a feat seeing as they were one of the top teams in the World Cup until Sneijder put them away with his goal. His teammate on his club team, Inter, as well as his wife-to-be were responsible for showing him the benefits of the Catholic Church and all it has to offer. It is great to see even successful athletes being brought to the faith even in their later years in life. It just goes to show that it is never to late to convert to Catholicism.

If you would like to read this article in its entirety click here.