Phil Mulryne will be ordained as Dominican priest next year after more than seven years of study for the priesthood.
“To give oneself completely to God through the profession of the evangelical councils, to take him as our example and despite our weakness and our defects, trust in Him that he will transform us by his grace, and thus being transformed, communicate the joy in knowing him to everyone we meet – this for me is the ideal of Dominican life and one of the major reasons of what attracted me to the order,” he told the Daily Mail in a video interview.
Mulryne, 38, began his career in football in 1994 when he attended the Manchester United youth academy.
His teammates were among the many of his surprised acquaintances to find out that he gave up his global fame and lucrative career to pursue the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience as a priest.
“It was a complete shock that he felt this was his calling,” fellow footballer Paul McVeigh said, according to the Daily News.
After a series of major injuries at the end of his career in 2008, Mulryne was faced with the question of how to spend his post-footballing days.
According to McVeigh, Mulryne began "doing a lot of charitable work and helping the homeless on a weekly basis.”
In 2009, he entered the Irish Pontifical College in Rome, where he has been pursuing the priesthood through studies in philosophy and theology.