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Charity Shines at Everest Academy’s Benedict XVI Sports Tournament
U. S. A. | APOSTOLATE | NEWS
The girls’ tournament, sponsored by Challenge, gathered 160 girls and 150 volunteers. “Charity and sportsmanship reigned,” say the organizers.

An 8th grade team shows a winning spirit during the tournament.
An 8th grade team shows a winning spirit during the tournament.

Clarkston, Michigan. October 23, 2008. When the Challenge girls’ club based at Everest Academy put on their annual Benedict XVI Sports Tournament, the entire community rallied behind them.

The tournament, held from October 3 – 5 on the grounds of Everest Academy, gathered a total of 160 girls from 7 Catholic and public schools, as well as a local homeschooling group. The girls were divided into 20 sports teams for competitions in three sports: track and field, soccer, and floor hockey.

“Charity and sportsmanship reigned,” say the organizers – and not only on the playing field. Over 150 volunteers from the Everest community, including parents, teachers, and older students, gathered to support an event that turned out to be much more than a sports tournament.

A Multi-Pronged Contest

In addition to the athletic contests, the tournament featured elements of catechesis, apostolic service, and spiritual enrichment.

The catechesis element was a Pope
One of the spiritual elements of the tournament was a candlelight Rosary around Our Lady.
One of the spiritual elements of the tournament was a candlelight Rosary around Our Lady.
Quiz Bowl contest, testing the girls’ knowledge of curious facts about the popes of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The girls also engaged in an apostolic service project, making 280 rosaries for medical missions and 160 blankets for St Joseph Mercy Hospital’s Critical Care Unit in Pontiac, Michigan. Each girl also wrote a personal card to Pope Benedict XVI to show her love and to encourage him in his mission.

On Saturday, the Legionaries of Christ provided confession during the day and set up adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by benediction. The concluding Mass on Sunday gathered over 500 people, with Fr Lorenzo Gomez, LC, as the main celebrant.

The Regnum Christi consecrated women and coworkers also supported the spiritual side of the tournament, providing meditations during adoration for all of the teams, helping organize and coordinate the liturgical celebrations, and boosting everyone’s spirits.

“They were the wind that helped us fly,” said Kristi Kitz, who served as a co-chair for the event, along with chairperson Michelle Bates and co-chair Tony Rosa.

Technology at the Service of the Spirit

One of the innovations in this year’s
The sacrament of Confession was offered on Saturday.
The sacrament of Confession was offered on Saturday.
tournament was the use of technology to serve the mission of forming and catechizing the girls through the sports tournament. Two Challenge dads volunteered their talents and initiative to help the sports tournament reach a new level of professionalism.

Web developer and technology consultant David Rosa created a web site for the event featuring online registration, questions and answers for the Pope Quiz Bowl contest, volunteer sign-ups and information, apostolic activities information, maps for the sports events and food stations, and even information on “down time” areas set aside in the girls’ school for people to relax and play board games or watch a family movie between games.

Another volunteer, David Eicher, created a DVD recap of the event in time to offer a premier showing just after the closing ceremonies on Sunday. The DVD captures the highlights of the weekend, and each participating family—as well as the Pope himself— will receive a free copy in the mail. A video of the tournament highlights can be viewed at this link.

Torch of Charity Award

One of the highlights of the
A team celebrates after the track and field competition.
A team celebrates after the track and field competition.
event was the competition for the “Pope Benedict XVI Torch of Charity Award,” granted to the team whose acts of charity, sportsmanship, service to others, gratitude, and respectfulness captured the spirit of the tournament. This year’s winning team was a 7th grade Everest team called “The Bleeding Hearts.”

“They were exemplary in their joy, spirit of service, and charity,” said consecrated woman Betty Rivera. “Their charity truly honors our Pope.” Given the spirit of the weekend, the award could well have been granted to the entire corps of volunteers.

For more information about Challenge clubs in your city, visit the web site at www.challengeclubs.com.


 

 


PUBLICATION DATE: 2008-10-23


 
 

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