Detroit Archbishop Bans Sunday Sports Activities in Call to “Reclaim Sunday”

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron Facebook Page / Loyola High School Facebook Page / ChurchPOP

What an awesome way to respect the Lord’s Day!

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit recently wrote a pastoral note on the diocesan “Unleash the Gospel” website.

His note entitled, “The Day of the Lord,” challenges the Catholic faithful to “reclaim Sunday as a day set apart for the Lord, for family, and for works of mercy.” 

The Archbishop explained that activities occupy our time and energy throughout the week, “but from the earliest days of the Church, Sunday was unique for Catholics.”

“Sunday has slowly lost its pride of place. In the Archdiocese of Detroit, we are committed to setting aside this day as much as possible for God-centered pursuits,” the Archbishop explained.

He also stressed that Sunday is not just “not just another day of the week. Every Sunday is a mini-Easter Sunday!”

The Archbishop referenced Code of Canon Law and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, explaining that Catholics must attend Mass.

“This obligation to attend Sunday Mass…is the most essential way we individually and collectively worship the Lord who gave himself for us.”

He added that we should keep our “eyes fixed on Jesus,” “put aside the worldly pursuits,” and ” call to mind the reality that we are joint heirs with Christ of the things of heaven.”

“This ‘cult of busyness’ is not of the Lord. Taking the Lord’s Day not to be busy with the affairs of the world but rather to rest in more important pursuits honors God and helps us to show him more perfectly to our world.

Lastly, Archbishop Vigneron said that because “Sunday is the day when the Holy Spirit was poured out in power upon the disciples of Jesus,” “it is a fitting day to grow in our faith.”

He especially encouraged studying the faith, as well as sharing the faith with others through acts of service, charity, and kindness.

Why ban Sunday sports activities?

Archbishop Vigneron explained that he “calls for a ‘strikingly countercultural way of living.’

“Living Sunday more radically and intentionally as God’s people will help us do this. It will help us to root our lives in prayer and the sacraments.”

This “strikingly countercultural way of living” includes “ceasing sporting events on Sunday.”

“This means that competitive athletic programs in the grade school and high school levels are called to no longer play games or conduct practices on the Lord’s Day. In the months ahead, we will offer a number of resources to assist families in their own practice of keeping holy the Lord’s Day.

“In shifting away from the hustle of required sporting activities on Sunday, we will reclaim this holy day and create more time for families to choose activities that prioritize time spent with each other and our Lord.”

What do you think of Archbishop Vigneron’s call to “reclaim Sunday”?

[See also: Yes, Skipping Sunday Mass (Without a Good Reason) Is a Grave Sin]

[See also: A Priest’s Reminder: Sundays Are a Whole DAY for God, Not Just an Hour]