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GOA: FR. PETER VERHAELEN MEMORIAL FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT

‘I want to die with my boots on’ were the often heard words of Fr. Peter Verhaelen, an SVD missionary who worked in Goa for the most part of his life. To keep his mission legacy alive, SVD Seminary and its lay group SVD Friends Association (SFA), organized the 3rd edition of Fr. Peter SVD Memorial under-14 Inter-school Football Tournament at the Seminary grounds from 19th September to 6th October 2018. 16 schools from Goa participated. In the finals, Perpetual Convent High School, Navelim, took the honours by defeating Our Lady of Health High School, Cuncolim, by a solitary 2nd half goal. Prizes were distributed by the Chief Guest, Mr. Elvis Gomes, President of Goa Football Association, a senior bureaucrat in the Goa Government and a former student of Fr. Peter Verhaelen. Earlier, Fr. Joaquim Fernandes, the Rector, welcomed the players, guests and spectators for this august event.

This year marks the 20th Death Anniversary of Fr. Peter. Born in 1920 in a farming family in Goch, Germany, he participated in the 2nd World War. He was instrumental in building SVD minor seminaries in Mhow, Trichy, Mangalore and Goa and gave his life for young seminarians. Wherever he was assigned, he toiled with his own hands for the upkeep of several missions in India. Hence, he would say that he would like to die while still working with his boots on. As a keen lover of football which is also a game with boots, he promoted local vocations to the SVD Society. Besides the football tournament, the confreres comprising of Frs. Joaquim, Salvador and Br. Vincent conduct 2-day retreats for SSC students of around 45 schools of Goa annually at Ashirvad, the retreat centre in the campus. These activities are aimed at making the SVDs known and to promote vocations. This year, there are 23 minor seminarians at SVD Seminary, Goa.

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