Soccer star wears his rosary at World CupShow of faith earns praise for Wayne RooneyBy Tony Barrett
JUN. 17, 2010 (www.timesonline.co.uk
) - When England line up for the national anthems before tonight’s game against the United States, Wayne Rooney will perform a ritual of his own that has become increasingly familiar to television viewers as he displays a set of rosary beads to signify his Roman Catholic faith.
Rooney, who revealed during filming for the Street Striker television series that he “might have been a priest” had he not made it as a footballer because of his enjoyment of religious education at school, makes no secret of his faith, with the beads being the most obvious example.
Father Edward Quinn, who was Rooney’s parish priest in Croxteth, Liverpool, and who presided over his wedding to Coleen McLoughlin at La Cervara, a converted monastery near Genoa, two years ago today, believes that the rosary beads may have been a gift from his wife.
“I suspect Wayne might have been given them by Coleen to take with him as a blessing and also as protection,” said Quinn, who is now the parish priest at St Anne’s in Rock Ferry, Birkenhead.
“I have seen the pictures of Wayne wearing them and it doesn’t surprise me because both he and Coleen come from families with a strong Catholic faith.
“When I presided over Wayne and Coleen’s wedding in Italy, all of the guests received a set of rosary beads, so it is clearly a symbol which means a lot to them.
“The good thing is that he is able to wear the beads while he is playing because they are light and do not get in the way.”
Quinn is an Everton supporter and he also noted another player with strong connections to the club he follows demonstrating his faith while playing for his country.
“I have just watched South Africa play their opening match against Mexico and I noticed before the game that Steven Pienaar blessed himself twice,” Quinn said. “I will be looking out for Wayne [in Rustenburg] and hopefully he can play as well as we all know he can.
“But I will also be looking out for his rosary beads and I do believe it is a good thing when high-profile figures in the public eye demonstrate their faith so clearly, because it can only set a positive example that helps the Church.”