VATICAN CITY, 5 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The "Church and Sport" section, founded by John Paul II in 2004 as part of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, has announced its third study seminar which is to have as its theme: "Sport, education and faith: a new season for Catholic sport associations". The aim of the event is to explore the relationship between sporting activity, the formation of the human person, and faith, within the field of Catholic sport associations.

The seminar, according to a communique published today, will take place on 6 and 7 November in the Villa Aurelia Conference Centre in Rome. It is due to be attended by representatives of sport and youth ministry from episcopal conferences, presidents of Catholic associations at the national and international level, and personalities from the worlds of professional and amateur sport.

The morning of 6 November will be dedicated to the Church's mission within the world of youth sports. After the reading of a Message from Benedict XVI and some opening remarks from Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, attention will turn to the role of sport associations in the Catholic world, in the light of Church teaching. Afterwards Mike McNamee, professor at Swansea University in Wales, will deliver a lecture on a possible correlation between sports and human virtue.

The afternoon will see a panel discussion in which professional sportspeople will discus what it means to be a champion, "that is to say, to offer an idea of success that is not limited to mere fame or victory but is rather defined by virtuous behaviour that is lived both on and off the field". The day will conclude with an analysis of the relationship between sport and spiritual life, offered by Susan Saint Sing, former U.S. Olympic rower.

The second day of the conference will begin with a contribution on new approaches and educational strategies in sports environments, delivered by Edio Costantini, president of the John Paul II Sports Foundation. Afterwards a panel discussion will explore the opportunities offered by Catholic sport associations for bearing witness to Christ "through the work of evangelisation, the exercise of Christian charity, or in ecumenical and inter-cultural dialogue". The conference will conclude with an address by Bishop Josef Clemens, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

CON-L/SPORTS SEMINAR/RYLKO                                          VIS 091105 (400)

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