What difference does God make in the world of sport? What does our faith bring to the practice of a sport? What makes a Catholic sports association different from another one? What is its proper identity and mission? What contribution does the Catholic sports movement in general make to the Church’s mission of education and evangelization? These are the questions which we sought to give answer to in the course of the international seminar, “Sport, education, faith: towards a new season for Catholic sport associations”, promoted by the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the proceedings of which are now published in this publication. The seminar, organized by the “Church and sport” section of our dicastery, was held in Rome from November 6-7, 2009 with the attendance of about one hundred participants coming from five continents. The theme was approached with the conscious effort and desire to reinsert sport into an educational perspective.
[…] The seminar speakers, be it through the more pensive conferences or the personal testimonies of the panel discussions, provided us with a deep and rich reflection on the various opportunities that the Catholic sport associations offer in furthering the Church’s mission of evangelization, especially among the youth in this historic moment marked by an “educational emergency”.
Thus, it is our hope that the publication of these proceedings on the specific mission and identity of Catholic sport associations may serve to encourage all those who are engaged in directing Catholic youth sports to take full advantage of the opportunities that these activities provide in assisting the pastoral care of youth throughout the world.
From the Preface to the publication of the proceedings
by His Eminence cardinal Stanisław Ryłko
President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity
Sport, Education, Faith: Towards a New Season for Catholic Sports Associations, Internationa seminar proceedings (6-7 November 2009), edited by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City 2011 (€15).