Nuns keep Rider pride in the faith

November 23, 2013 1:39 AM

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Nuns keep Rider pride in the faith

Sister Rosetta Reiniger and Sister Adelaide Fortowsky have been cheering for the Saskatchewan Roughriders for more than five decades.

The pair met when they were both new nuns at St. Angela's Convent of Prelate, in the 1950s.

They discovered their love for football, and specifically their love for the Riders in the 1960s.

“Well I was teaching in the classroom and I happened to have a group of boys, and they would beg me to come out and play [football] with them. I said ‘no, I don’t know how to play’,” Sister Adelaide said.

But soon, she had learned the rules of the game. Fellow nun Sister Rosetta was already cheering for the Riders, so naturally, the pair became fast friends and they haven't looked back since.

“Every day I’d go out the field at recess and say ‘one thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three, HIKE,” Sister Adelaide remembered.

For years the women would make an annual trip to Regina to see the team play during the summer time.

Now, Sister Rosetta is well into her seventies and Sister Adelaide is well into her eighties. She is also suffering from Parkinson's Disease. Because of this, they don’t travel to see the Riders play anymore.

Instead, the fans have converted one room of their convent’s retirement home into the ‘Rider Roost’. The small office is adorned with several green and white Roughrider bobbles and paraphernalia.

Over the years they've collected things like a stuffed Gainer the Gopher, an autographed photo of Don Narcisse and a framed print of Jesus wearing a Rider jersey, accepting a watermelon from a young girl.

Sister Rosetta says they always say a special prayer for the Riders before every game they watch in their ‘Rider’s Roost’.

“Well, before every game we say a prayer. That everyone will play well and nobody gets hurt,” Sister Rosetta said before Sister Adelaide interjected.

“One day we forgot to pray before we started…here we are sitting and they lost the game. And said, they lost the game because we forgot to pray,” Sister Adelaide said.

And this coming Grey Cup Sunday will be no exception. The women plan to say their prayers early so they can watch all of the festivities from start to finish.

“It is a little hard to explain. Like, God loves everybody, and he loves every team. But like I have said, and you see in that picture, God wears green,” Sister Rosetta said.


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