As the 2012 Olympic Games get underway, the Bishops of Ireland, Scotland and England and Wales are calling on Catholics to take care of their bodies and live a healthier, more balanced and environmentally sensitive lifestyle. Over 400,000 leaflets have been disseminated to parishes in England and Wales inviting everyone to celebrate the incredible wonder and dignity of their body and ‘to use your body for the glory of God’ (1 Cor 6:20).
Day for Life will this year highlight the importance of good health, the care of our bodies and the importance of exercise and sporting activities. It will be celebrated in parishes in England and Wales on Sunday 29 July 2012.
The Archbishop for Day for Life in England and Wales, Archbishop Peter Smith says: “In the next few weeks we are going to see Olympians and Paralympians do the most amazing things. It will be incredible to watch world records being broken; gold medals being won and after years of dedicated training, personal sacrifice and daily discipline, the body performing feats that humanly we would think impossible. This year’s Day for Life reminds us all of the importance of taking care of our bodies at every stage and in every condition – it’s a call ‘to use our bodies for the glory of God.’”
The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has encouraged Christians to take part in sporting activities as ‘a training ground of healthy competition and physical improvement, a school of formation in the human and spiritual values, a privileged means for personal growth and contact with society.’(i)
This year’s Day for Life message reads: ‘The athletes in the Olympic and Paralympic games help us to celebrate the human body in all its wonder, especially when it faces the challenge of disability, physical limitation and pain. They testify that to achieve success in sport requires a harmony between the body, the spirit and the mind brought about through training and discipline.’
In the accompanying video resources for the day, Paralympic medallist and professional athlete for Great Britain, Stef Reid echoes the importance of caring for our bodies: “Our bodies matter and they are good. That’s why it’s so important that we don’t neglect them.”
Day for Life is celebrated yearly by the Catholic Church in Ireland, Scotland and England and Wales. The proceeds of the Day for Life collection to be held in parishes in England and Wales on Sunday 29 July 2012 assist the work of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre and other life-related activities supported by the Church.
You can find out more about Day for Life by clicking on the web link at the top right of this page.
Read more about this year’s Day for Life message at the top right of this page.
[i] Pope Benedict XVI, Address to Participants in the World Swimming Championships, August 2009