In Angers, the 3rd edition of an inter-parish football tournament

In Angers, the 3rd edition of an inter-parish football tournament

Even if his team did not win, Don Théophile Bonnasse, 31, is a happy priest. “The tournament is first and foremost the pleasure of being together,” appreciates the vicar of the parish of Ponts-de-Cé, a small town south of Angers.

On March 17, on the grounds of a Catholic high school in this city, eight parishes from Angers and the surrounding area competed in a “family spirit”. Parishioners, priests, students… these players of all levels made up teams happily mixing ages, from 14 to 60 years old. Gathered into five teams, the 7-13 year olds also kicked the ball around all afternoon, while a few seniors led their own pétanque competition. Like every year, the tournament began with a time of prayer. “Putting yourself back before the Lord allows you to calm your spirits, which are logically very involved in this competitive context. It’s important to put things back in order,” underlines Romain Feron, one of the fathers behind the tournament. At 39 years old, this teacher-researcher put on his first crampons during university championships, before participating in tournaments linked to the Reformed Protestant Church, and also played in a club.

A tournament and seven bell towers

The competition was born in 2020, following an improvised match on a Sunday between Don Théophile and fathers from his parish. The neighboring parish joined in, joined the following year by faithful from the center of Angers. In 2022, the tournament brings together seven bell towers. The objective: “First, fraternity!” » assures Don Théophile, who sees sport as “a pastoral place allowing us to reach everyone”. Originally from Marseille, this basketball and climbing enthusiast discovered the conviviality around football when he entered the seminar.

For Romain, beyond the sporting challenge, the tournament, a vector of unity, brings together “generations, rural and urban parishes”, but also diverse spiritual sensitivities. Victory this year goes to the Cholet team, which won the right to organize the 2025 tournament.

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