This week The Catholic Sports Association announced their new on-line magazine with features, links and stories about sports in Catholic Schools and about the interconnection. The organization also offers camps and workshops for young Catholic athletes.
It was timing on their part, given the meeting that Holy Father Pope Francis had with the national soccer teams of Argentina and Italy, held at the Vatican on August 13, 2013. At that meeting the holy father exhorted players and managers to make the best of sports for the benefit of society, especially for youth.
Pope Francis said to the people gathered:
“People follow you a lot, not only when you are on the field but when you are off it. This is a social responsibility! I’ll explain myself: In the game, when you are on the field, there is beauty, gratuitousness and comradeship. If a game lacks this it loses strength, even if the team wins. There is no room for individualism but, for the team, everything lies in coordination. Perhaps these three things: beauty, gratuitousness and comradeship are summarized in a sports term that must never be abandoned: “dilettante,” amateur. It’s true that the national and international organization professionalizes the sport, and it must be so, but this professional dimension must never leave aside the initial vocation of a sport or of a team: to be amateur, “dilettante,” does good to society, builds the common good from the values of gratuitousness, comradeship and beauty.” (Reported on Zenit)
The players who organized the event in honor of the Holy Father, seemed moved by his words and by the chance to meet him.