“How can the Church not be interested in sport?”
— Pope Pius XII

Our Lady of Lourdes participates in the Catholic Schools Athletic League (CSAL) in the following sports:  boys/girls cross-country and boys volleyball in the Fall, boys/girls basketball in the Winter, and girls volleyball and boys baseball in the Spring.

In keeping with our mission to "form disciples of Jesus Christ, set free to realize their full potential," we consider athletics a valuable part of our curriculum of formation.  Many people are surprised to find out the Church has much to say about sports.  In fact, various Popes gave over 200 discourses on the subject in the 20th century alone!  Bishop Carlo Mazza summarized this body of teaching within a beautiful introduction to a 2012 document by the John Paul II Sports Foundation.  This summary helps to form a philosophy of athletics at Lourdes that is in line with our Catholic, Classical vision.  Echoing St. Paul (1Cor. 9:24-27), Bishop Mazza writes, "...the teachings of the Magisterium reveal an educative potential of sport... For it is in playing that we most easily learn how to dominate our passions and orientate them towards a higher goal."

However, the Church also issues a strong word of caution.  In a 2000 homily, Pope St. John Paul the Great said:  

"The importance of sports today invites those who participate in them to take this opportunity for an examination of conscience.  It is important to identify and promote the many positive aspects of sport, but it is only right to recognize the various transgressions to which it can succumb."
2014 CSAL Volleyball Champions

2014 CSAL Volleyball Champions

We seek to guard our athletes (and fans) from the "various transgressions" of the popular sports culture, including the rampant berating of officials that comes with today's win-at-all-costs mentality.  Make no mistake, we do strive to win, but not at the cost of our own souls or at the expense of the higher goals of sport, "ordered to the intellectual and moral perfection of the soul" (Pope Pius XII, 1955).

 Here are the goals of our Athletics Program, in order of priority:

1.  Play for the greater glory of god (amdg)

It's the only reason to do anything (see 1Cor. 10:31).

2.  Grow in virtue and holiness.

Sports offer a unique opportunity to train for heaven, but can easily become a training for the opposite, in which case we are better off not playing at all.

3.  gain physical strength and build skills

To build physical strength and skill is to treat the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit.  However, this can never mean reducing sport to a soulless demonstration of physicality, which is dehumanizing.

4.  Have fun

A "joyless Christian" is a contradiction! 

5.  Win

"Run so as to win" (1Cor. 9:24).  Winning with honor brings glory to God.  Losing due to a lack of effort does not.

 

Pope St. John Paul the Great, pray for us!