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Canberra Raiders Chaplain, Monsignor John Woods took a piece of the Green Machine to the Vatican last week, while attending the inaugural Sport for humanity conference.

The conference was the first global conference on faith and sport, with the setting in the Vatican hosting representatives from across the world to further affirm the power of sport for human good.

Monsignor Woods was determined to make a special presentation to Pope Francis while attending the conference, but unfortunately the Pope’s busy schedule didn’t allow the presentation to occur directly. Monsignor Woods did manage to present the jersey to Cardinal Rasavi, who is Head of the Pontifical Council for Culture who with Pope Francis was responsible for the conference.

The jersey was custom printed with ‘Bergoglio’ on the back, which is Pope Francis surname. Monsignor Woods said Cardinal Rasavi appreciated the presentation and would pass on the jersey to Pope Francis.

“Cardinal Rasavi had a big smile on his face when he saw the name ‘Bergoglio’ on the back of the jersey and it was wonderful to be able to show my support for the Raiders at this huge sporting conference,” Monsignor Woods said. “The conference had some huge sporting stars from across the globe including Rugby Union legends Sean Fitzpatrick and Hugo Porta, former All Blacks and Argentine/Pumas Captains and in fact Sean Fitzpatrick was telling me that Mal Meninga was a hero of his.”

“I was also able to spend time with Australian Ambassador to the Holy See, Melissa Hitchman. Melissa asked me to speak after the conference at a gathering of number ambassadors.”

Monsignor Woods with Sean Fitzpatrick and Hugo Porta


Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.