26 April 2021
Towards Parish 2024: pastoral ministry of sports in France, with an evangelizing mission
The first meeting of the online working group held on 6 April
For the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, which the United Nations has established as 16 April, the French Episcopal Conference organized a webinar to introduce the goal of pastoral ministry for sports, in France and in the context of the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.
And in fact, this year, with the help of the Dicastery’s Office of Church and Sport, the Episcopal Conference created a new working group, “Eglise et Sport,” (“Church and Sport”) within the National Department of Family and Society.
Consequently, the head of the Dicastery’s Church and Sport Office was invited to open the webinar of the new office with a greeting of encouragement for all the participants. Santiago Pérez de Camino thanked the “Eglise et Sport” working group for their collaboration in publicizing the document “Giving the best of yourself,” and he encouraged them in their work of strengthening pastoral ministry for sports in France and in their presence in the region.
In his address, Pérez de Camino called to mind how sports are “a unique means of promoting encounter among all kinds of people, of human formation in Christian values and virtues, of evangelization within society and within the world of sports, and of the sanctification for those who practice sports in a virtuous way.”
Finally, he expressed his hope that this new phase of pastoral ministry within sports in France would be, at its heart, a meeting point with the world of sports, open to formation and evangelization, because the goal is none other than to bring the risen Jesus Christ to all the people that we meet.
The speakers also included Mons. Dubost, Bishop Emeritus of Évry-Corbeil-Essonnes and former president of the Bishops’ Commission for Justice and Peace of the French Episcopal Conference, who spoke of sports as a universally recognized means of development and promotion of peace.