14 October 2020
A model for life
The second webinar in a series designed to encourage the best “restart” of sports in society
“Giving the best of oneself: sports as a model for life”: the Document prepared by the Dicastery in 2018 was a common thread in the second of four webinars on sports hosted in collaboration with the John Paul II Foundation for Sport.
Jesuit Father Patrick Kelly, a professor at the University of Detroit Mercy, gave a presentation on the theological approach to sports, first of all seeking to dismantle the long-held stereotypical narrative of a Catholic tendency to associate the human body with sin. From the very beginnings of Catholic theology, he explained, the human person has been exalted as “a unity of body, soul, and spirit.” Secondly, already from this point in time “there was a relationship between faith and culture that tended to accept non-Christian cultural traditions and customs, such as sports. St. Paul, the Apostle to the gentiles, played an important role in this sense. In his letters to the Greeks he uses athletic imagery as a natural thing to describe the Christian life.” Therefore, concluded Fr. Kelly, “since the person is a unity of body, soul, mind, and spirit, bodily activities such as games and sports have an impact on us and also influence our relationship with the Spirit.”
Former tennis player and sports writer Dyan Castillejo-Garcia called sports “one of the greatest gifts God has given us, one that can strengthen the mind, heart, and body. Through sports God teaches us that there is hope, that we must not give up.”
According to Wolfgang Baumann, member of the International Olympic Committee and general secretary of TAFISA (The Association for International Sport for All), “what we need now is a paradigm shift in terms of extending our perspective. Sports are a fundamental piece of the global puzzle. And once again, sports can help us overcome the critical challenges we are facing as a society.”
The next webinar, which as usual will also be available via livestream on the YouTube channel of the Dicastery, will take place Thursday 15 October, on the theme of “Inclusive sports: an opportunity not to be missed.”
To register, click here: The program and list of speakers are attached.