Philip Mulryne, born in Belfast, had an outstanding professional football career for 13 years – eight of those inNorwich at Carrow Road.He first played for Manchester United andearned 27 caps forNorthern Ireland,andquickly became a fans favourite.
At Norwich City, abadinjury earlyon kept him out for a year.My studentdaughter was an eveningwaitress in a Chinese restaurant at the time and Philip and his mother liked to eat thereandoccasionally I joined them.
Philip recovered from the injury, living his dream, butas he later admitted, he stopped going to Mass,and liveda materialisticlifestyle.
Eventuallyhe went home to Ireland. We heard no more about him for a long time. He later wrote thathe fellin love againwithhisfaith andstartedto go back to Mass.
In 2010 I was in Rome at the English College and discoveredthat Philip,studying for the priesthood at the Irish college, was to play in a football match. We met up again.
When I said what a coincidencehe replied”there are no coincidences, we are meant to share our love for God together”. He later realized God callinghim to bein a religious community.
I was so happy when he joined the Dominicans in Dublin. I was privileged to be invited to his First Profession, tohis Final Profession,and to his ordination as Deacon. Mostrecently to his ordination as a Dominican priest. Fr Philip is now chaplain at the Dominican school inCounty Kildare, with two days a week playing and teaching football. I guess the girls will want to join in also!
Pictured above is Fr Philip Mulryne during his ordination and with Archbishop Augustine, courtesy ofwww.dominicans.ie