Lee DelleMonache, a resident of Mantua, is one of just 100 people who will participate in an international seminar entitled Coaches: Educating People at the Vatican on May 14-15. DelleMonache is the director of the Neumann University Institute for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development.
The Church and Sport section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity is hosting the May seminar. According to Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Council, the goal of the discussion is “to better understand the challenges that coaches face and the opportunities and resources that they can find in faith” to form “sportsmen and women not only as athletes but also as persons.”
“Coaches may or may not be aware of the influence they have on their athletes’ faith journey,” said DelleMonache. “What an immense privilege it will be to share the Institute’s important work that strives to inspire coaches to embrace their formative gifts. I also look forward to learning from experts across the world how they tap into sport’s formative potential through coaches.”
St. John Paul II instituted the Church and Sport initiative 10 years ago. Since then, the Council has organized three international seminars: The World of Sports Today: A Field of Christian Commitment in 2005; Sport: An Educational and Pastoral Challenge in 2007; and Sport, Education, Faith: Towards a New Season for Catholic Sports Associations in 2009.
Attending the 2015 seminar will be athletes and coaches, university professors and instructors, missionaries in the world of sports, and experts in the field of sports and education.
“The Church, concerned about society, sees in sports not only a means of formation in values and virtue,” wrote Cardinal Rylko in a letter to DelleMonache, “but also a precious instrument for the evangelization of a new generation.”
DelleMonache has been director of the Institute since 2013. From 2005-13, she served as the Institute’s coordinator for management and planning, and as the ISSCD liaison with numerous external organizations, such as the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the National Catholic Education Association, Catholic Athletes for Christ, and Beyond Sport International.
Founded in 1999, the Institute is based on the belief that sport possesses an inescapable spiritual and ethical dimension that merits academic exploration and practical application. The Institute coordinates the university’s team chaplain program and commissioning of student athletes, hosts team evenings of reflection and leadership training workshops for coaches and student athletes, and provides research and opinion on moral and ethical issues in athletics.
For more information about the Institute, visit www.isscd.org.