Athleticism and the life of faith have always been integrated in the lives of Christian disciples. Think about classic verses of encouragement from the New Testament. In many of St. Paul’s letters to the early church, he uses athletic metaphors to help new Christians understand the task of faithful life that lies before them:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1
Here at St. Lawrence Seminary High School, we follow in the tradition of the early Christians, and teach our young men that faith and sports each help to strengthen the other.
St. Lawrence’s athletic teams offer many avenues for our students to compete in sports, and strengthen faith and formation. St. Lawrence Seminary High School offers sports in the fall, winter, and spring season. During these seasons, our student athletes compete in the Wisconsin Flyway Conference and against non-conference opponents. While competition and winning are our focus when athletes take to the court or field, St. Lawrence Athletics also integrates faith and formation in order to help our student athletes develop spiritually and physically at the same time.
As part of our coaching, we think about three elements that faith and sports have in common:
Sports and faith require discipline
Balancing sports, studies, and a social life can be a challenge. To balance studies and homework with additional practice and game time commitments requires our student athletes to be disciplined about how they spend their time. Faith also requires the discipline to develop a life of prayer, to go to Mass even when it may seem “inconvenient,” or to make time for evening prayer. While practicing faith and competing in sports, student athletes develop the discipline and willpower that makes them better players and better prayers.
Sports and faith require respect for proper authority
Coaches motivate, train, and educate so the student athletes can be successful on the court or field. The same holds true for spiritual mentors and authority figures. At SLS, our parents, teachers, and Capuchins all have varying degrees of authority and responsibility for the students’ spiritual success. They instruct our students in faith, encourage perseverance, and offer strategies to maintain a robust Catholic life. As our student athletes learn to respect both our coaches and church leaders, they begin to succeed more and more in both their athletic life and their life of faith.
Sports and faith require community
Most sports, because they are team activities, provide a strong sense of community and shared purpose. Student athletes need to work together in practice and games. The fans who support our teams also provide an example of community. Constant support for one another is essential to the success of any sports team. The same thing is true in the life of the Church and in the life of the faith community of St. Lawrence. The greatest form of community comes from the reception of the body and blood of Christ during Holy Communion. The whole community of St. Lawrence is called to be in communion with each other and with Christ, and our student athletes learn how to be better members of their faith community through their life on sports teams.
Because some students learn best through physical activity and experience, our sports teams are a crucial teaching ground for our young men as they develop into the best version of themselves.
It is our mission at St Lawrence Seminary to emphasis faith and formation, good sportsmanship, and healthy competition. The integration of faith into every element of life at St. Lawrence, including our athletics, makes our community stronger and our athletes better. The Athletic Department is an essential part of our community and student experience.
Are you interested in learning more about St. Lawrence Seminary High School’s academic and extracurricular programs, we encourage you to RSVP to our upcoming Day of Discovery.