Thursday 16 July 2015

Even Priests Can't Resist a Little Competition

PanAmania has swept through Southern Ontario, with events in 48 sports happening from Simcoe County to the Niagara Region.

Catholics have long recognized the importance of sports. In a homily in 2000 Pope Saint John Paul II said:

"Playing sports has become very important today, since it can encourage young people to develop important values such as loyalty, perseverance, friendship, sharing and solidarity. Precisely for this reason, in recent years it has continued to grow even more as one of the characteristic phenomena of the modern era, almost a "sign of the times" capable of interpreting humanity's new needs and new expectations. Sports have spread to every corner of the world, transcending differences between cultures and nations.

"Because of the global dimensions this activity has assumed, those involved in sports throughout the world have a great responsibility. They are called to make sports an opportunity for meeting and dialogue, over and above every barrier of language, race or culture. Sports, in fact, can make an effective contribution to peaceful understanding between peoples and to establishing the new civilization of love."

We were able to find a few sports shots in the archives:

While not an Olympic sport, bowling has been a part of the Pan Am games since 1991. This year's competition will take place from July 22-25.

Monsignor Jean Marie Castex bowls as part of the league at St. Ann's Parish, Penetanguishene in the early 1960s.
The champions of St. Ann's, Penetanguishene Bowling League show off their trophies [1949-1964].

Racquetball has been in the Pan Am games since 1995 and events will be taking place from July 19-26. The Squash competition has already taken place, with Canada receiving two silver and two bronze medals.

Priests-in-training compete in some kind of racket sport at St. Augustine's Seminary.
St. Augustine's Seminary Photo Collection

The Canadian men's baseball team is doing well in preliminary rounds. The medal games will be played on Sunday, and the women's competition will start on Monday.

Seminarians playing baseball on St. Augustine's grounds.
St. Augustine's Seminary Photo Collection
St. Matthew's Boy's Baseball Team, 1959.

Field hockey games will be played throughout the two weeks of competition, but this is Canada, so it was easier for us to find pictures of ice hockey:

Students play hockey on the rink at St. Michael's College, 1917.

Good luck to all of the athletes competing in this year's events!


  1. Hi. Two questions:

    1) does St Augustine's have the facilities pictures here or better today for sports?

    2) the st mikes rink here, is that St Mikes u of T or St Michael's College School prior to the Double Blue arena we have today?

    1. Hi Julian,

      Thanks for your questions!

      1. St. Augustine's doesn't have the same facilities as it once did, but it still has large, well maintained grounds. As well, access to public facilities has increased from the time that this picture was taken. The seminary used to be in the middle of nowhere!

      2. This rink would have been located at the present University of St. Michael's College near Bay and Wellesley. In 1917, both the high school and the college were at this location. St. Michael's College School at Bathurst and St. Clair opened in 1950.