Nuns keep Rider pride in the faith

Sister Rosetta Reiniger and Sister Aidelaid Fortowsky have been cheering for the Saskatchewan Roughriders since the 60s. The pair have known each other since they met as new nuns at St. Angela's Convent of Prelate, in the 50s.

Saskatchewan nuns have cheered for the Roughriders for decades

Sister Rosetta Reiniger and Sister AdelaideFortowsky 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.

Sister Adelaide first learned the rules of football from the children she taught in the 60s. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)
God loves everybody, and he loves every team... But, God wears green,-Sister Rosetta Reiniger

“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.

The Sisters have converted some of their fellow nuns into Rider fans throughout the years. Sister Hermana is one of them. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)

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.

This print of Jesus wearing a Rider's jersey is one of many decorations adorning the Sister's 'Rider Roost'. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)

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.

Sister Rosetta always says a special prayer for the Riders before each and every game. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)

But of course, they are praying for a Saskatchewan win.

“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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