Sport and ‘everyday holiness’

Paul A. McGavin

A recent document, Giving the Best of Yourself, offers an ecclesial appreciation of sport. Retired priest and still active sportsman Paul A. McGavin writes on the transformational power of sport, and the part it plays in ‘everyday holiness’. The author is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, Australia.

A new style in magisterial teaching
The 19 March 2018 publication of the Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, has heightened awareness of the fillip that Pope Francis is giving to the appreciation of ‘everyday holiness’.1 This fillip was recently reinforced in a 1 June 2018 ‘document’ of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life,2 Giving the Best of Yourself – the first publication under the 13 May 2018 revised Statutes and the first extensive magisterial teaching offering an ecclesial perspective on sport. As a retired priest and lifelong athlete still active in competitive sport, I write with enthusiasm for this document and rejoice in this ecclesial recognition of ‘everyday holiness’ that may be manifest in sport.

It was the Feast of St Martha when I sat down to commence writing this article, and I pray that such an ‘everyday saint’ may intercede for me! It always delights me that among the synoptic evangelists, it is from St Luke that we learn of Martha (Lk. 10.38-42).

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