Service has more than one meaning for Catholic priest who’s also a Wimbledon umpire

If you’ve been keeping a close look on this year’s Wimbledon tournament, you might just have spotted Paul Arinze, who’s umpired regularly at both this famous tournament, and the US open.

What you probably won’t know is that Paul is also Fr Paul Ugo Arinze of the Diocese of Madison in the USA.

Father Paul, who previously worked as the director of vocations for the Diocese and looked out for young people who considered a career in catholicism, is also a trained tennis official.

As well as serving as an umpire at tournaments in the United States, he has worked as a line judge at two Grand Slam offerings in the form of the US Open and Wimbledon.

Back in 2011, Father Paul told the New York Times that: “The chair umpire is much like have the responsibility of the Parish.

“You’re in charge of the servers, the people that read, the people that help and you have to manage it.”

Asked about if he ever prayers for the stars taking part, Fr Paul smiles and says: “I always say God has more important things to do than root for a team or player. Because if he did, then everyone would win.”

Father Paul, who is still an active priest, is adamant he would never pursue tennis officiating on a full-time basis, because his priestly vocation is so important to him.

He says fell in love with tennis watching the likes of John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert back in the 1970s and 80s.

Story by William Kelly, The Catholic Network