Fr. Kelly shows how during the medieval period Catholics participated in games and sports on feast days and Sundays and depicted such activities in prayer books and on woodcuts and stained glass windows in churches and cathedrals. Catholic humanists during the Renaissance included time for play and sport in the first schools which educated primarily lay people, and the Jesuits followed their lead in subsequent centuries. Catholics brought these cultural traditions with them to the United States, where they engaged in play and sport routinely and without anxiety and incorporated them in their schools as a matter of course.
These earlier cultural and theological traditions provide us with resources for addressing problems in sport in our own context in the United States, such as the dramatic rise in overuse injuries in youth sport and performance enhancing drug use scandals of the kind that has recently engulfed Lance Armstrong.
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