Lee DelleMonache, director of the Institute for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development, has returned from an invited trip to the Vatican where she spoke on the topic of Sport and Mercy at the XIII International Symposium of University Professors: Knowledge and Mercy. Lee was the only representative from the United States to speak in the Sport and Mercy track of the symposium.
“What a privilege to be a part of an international gathering of experts from a variety of disciplines who discussed candidly the reality of the unmerciful world of sport,” said DelleMonache. “The good news is that within those challenges lies opportunities. While the world of sport may not be merciful, thankfully the humans involved in sports have great capacity to be bridges to God’s mercy.
“I look forward to continuing the discussions begun in Rome to develop resources to help members of the athletic community be better stewards of God’s mercy.”
DelleMonache was joined by professors from the UK, Germany, Rome, and Greece in the Sport and Mercy track of the symposium. Topics in the track also included mercy’s impact on athletes with disabilities, doping, and sports as a vehicle for peace.
DelleMonache’s presentation focused on sports ministry’s role in modeling God’s mercy. She spoke of Neumann University’s team chaplaincy program and the responsibility team chaplains have to not only be bridges to mercy but also to inspire coaches, athletes, and fans they serve to be merciful.
The symposium included crossing the Holy Door at the Pontifical Basilica of St. John Lateran. That privilege of walking through the Holy Door left a deep impression on Lee. In her talk she said, “Imagine if all who are involved in sports view crossing the threshold to enter the field of play with the same reverence of passing through a Holy Door of Mercy. This Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy calls on us to envision the arena each athlete enters as sacred space and spiritual opportunity to celebrate all of God’s blessings including His gift of endless mercy.”