Mgr Paul Grogan

Mgr Paul Grogan
Mgr Paul Grogan

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Squeezing in a little tennis

I gave the impression a couple of blogs ago that apart from a couple of hours' learning French once a week, I expend all my energies on the mission. This is not quite the case. In fact I have a number of other hobbies. One is playing tennis with Fr Pasquino Panato who is the Superior of the northern house of the Comboni Missionaries which is situated directly opposite the main entrace to Leeds Trinity. Fr Pasquino was in the Sudan for twenty years, where he was headteacher of the Comboni High School in Khartoum, and he then spent ten years promoting justice and peace as a non-governmental organisation representative at the United Nations in New York. The students here love him. I regularly eat Italian dinners with him and his equally estimable confrere Fr Donato at their house. In their dining room there is a frieze of photographs of priests and sisters from the order who have been murdered in the last few decades whilst on the foreign missions, from the rainforests of Brazil to strife-torn countries in Africa. Fr Pasquino knew a good number of them personally. Theirs is an extraordinary witness. If I were not a diocesan priest I should wish to have the courage to be a Verona Father, as they are otherwise known (since their founder, St Daniel Comboni, was from that city).


  1. Replies
    1. On this occasion I did, but it was a closely fought match.