Thursday, May 27, 2010

Faith, Set, Match: Sports & Spirituality

I will now be writing bi-monthly for the online edition of Catholic San Francisco. I hope it will go into printed circulation—150,000 strong—by summer. Any Catholic who has registered in a parish in the Archdiocese of San Francisco receives a copy of Northern California’s Weekly Catholic Newspaper in their mailbox at home. There’s no “Sporting Green” (one of the Chron’s few saving graces) but I’ll see what I can do. The first piece, The Sound of Sports was inspired by all the talk of the 2010 Masters, what I heard at the St. Ignatius vs. Bellarmine varsity boys’ volleyball game and an intriguing response from A’s prospect, now seminarian Grant Desme.

My column, entitled “Faith, Set, Match: Sports & Spirituality” will feature pieces similar to what you read on this blog. I think it has a good ring to it and like many sports, the lexicon of tennis easily applies to life lessons, relationships and more. Although it wasn’t my first *sports love* (I think that goes to swimming), tennis captured the imagination of my teenage years. I met some of my best friends playing tennis and played for 3 years on Carondelet’s varsity team. I was a ball girl for many professional players, I subscribed to not one but two tennis magazines: US Tennis and Tennis, I babysat so I could pay to go to additional tennis camps and when I got my driver’s license, you better believe my first key chain featured a neon yellow mini tennis ball! Although I probably haven’t picked up a racket in three years, I still love the game. Last year, I read Andre Agassi’s “Open,” I attended BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells as well as the Bank of the West Classic and I will spend my first week of summer vacation watching the French Open. Allez! Someday soon, I hope to go to the US Open. Preferably, I will see a match of epic proportions (of course!) in at least 85 degree heat with high humidity, under the lights. Can I request to see a talented American player too?

Thanks for sharing your love of sports with me. And, I am curious to know:
What was your first sports love?
What sports captured your imagination as a child? A teen? Today?

I am grateful to the many people have raised challenging questions of faith and athletics since this journey began. This is a marathon, not a sprint. We’ll see where it goes.

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