Lee DelleMonache, director of the Neumann University Institute for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development, has been selected to speak at a Vatican conference on sports Sept. 7 to 11.
She is the only representative from the United States who will speak in the “Sport and Mercy” track of the 13th International Symposium of University Professors: Knowledge and Mercy.
The Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education invited DelleMonache to speak on the topic “Sport, spirituality and character development: experiencing mercy through a unique sport ministry.”
In the abstract of her presentation, DelleMonache writes: “Athletics has the potential to lead to a deeper understanding of the need for mercy in our lives. It offers a transformative lens through which to explore life’s most significant questions: Who am I? What is my place in this world?
“Research documents that this quest for discovery during the college years reveals college students’ hunger for spiritual nourishment. Educators, therefore, have a sacred responsibility to guide these young people on their journey of spiritual discovery. Informed by the Catholic Franciscan tradition, the Neumann University Institute for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development provides opportunities to experience spiritual works of mercy through its unique ministry to student-athletes and coaches.”
Explaining the approach used at the Institute, she continues: “Team chaplain lay ministry, commissioning rituals, team reflections, and online resources are designed to deepen awareness of self, others and God and help student-athletes and coaches learn to recognize God’s endless offer of mercy in their lives.”
Professors from Italy, the United Kingdom and Kenya will join DelleMonache in addressing various aspects of the relationship between sport and mercy.
DelleMonache has been director of the Neumann institute since 2013. From 2005-2013, she served as its coordinator for management and planning, and as the ISSCD liaison with numerous external organizations, such as the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the National Catholic Education Association, Catholic Athletes for Christ, and Beyond Sport International.
She holds a B.A. in English and communications from Cabrini College, an M.S. in sport management from Neumann University and is currently writing her dissertation for the organizational leadership Ph.D. program at Eastern University.
Founded in 1999, the institute is based on the belief that sport possesses a spiritual and ethical dimension that merits academic exploration and practical application.
The institute coordinates the university’s team chaplain program and commissioning of student athletes, hosts team evenings of reflection and leadership training workshops for coaches and student athletes, and provides research and opinion on moral and ethical issues in athletics.
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