|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
Quiz Bowl contest, testing the girls’ knowledge of curious facts
about the popes of the 20th and 21st centuries.
|One of the spiritual elements of the tournament was a candlelight Rosary around Our Lady.|
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.
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.|
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.
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.|
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
For more information about Challenge clubs in your city,
visit the web site at www.challengeclubs.com.