SOTC Workout Testimonials & God Will Forgive You

 

Like  Tweet  Pin  +1  in
sports2

Just a reminder that time is running out on the early bird registration fee for our upcoming SportsLeader Director of Sports Ministry Conference. Click here to register before March 15th.

Scottsdale Arizona Notre Dame Prep Head Football Coach Mark Nolan interviewed two of his players after his team completed the SportsLeader Stations of the Cross Workout challenge. Click on the image below to watch the one minute video.

Have you done the workout with your team? Let us know and share some photos and video.

 
Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 9.38.23 AM
 

Being that this is the Year of Mercy, we are encouraging all Coaches and Directors of Sports Ministry to grow closer to God through the sacrament of reconciliation.

We came upon this amazing article about a man who helped kill approximately 3.4 million people but who repented, confessed and found God's mercy before death.

3,400,000 people. For some perspective that is like killing every single person in the state of Connecticut, Iowa or Nevada ...

Many of us might think that God will not forgive us because we've done x, y or z.

Or maybe we have not been to Church in years ... so God won't forgive me ...

Or I haven't been to confession in x years ...

Or I have a hard time forgiving myself for x, y or z ...

If God can forgive a man who intentionally exterminated over 3 million innocent people ... God will forgive us. We just have to ask.

Let us all embrace God's love, mercy and forgiveness this year, this Lent. And let's share this with the other coaches, athletes and parents on our teams.

Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd 
SportsLeader Manual for Coaches and Directors of Sports Ministry

Click here for the full article on Aleteia: How the Commandant of Auschwitz Found God’s Mercy

 
auschwitz-shoes-new

Tens of thousands of pairs of shoes of those who died at Auschwitz.

 

How the Commandant of Auschwitz Found God’s Mercy

Not even an "animal" like Rudolf Höss is exempt from Christ's forgiveness, Polish nun says

By John Burger 
March 4, 2016

Those who survived Auschwitz called the man in charge an “animal.” Rudolf Höss presided over the extermination of some 2.5 million prisoners in the three years he was commandant of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Another half a million died there from disease and starvation. A year after his tenure came to an end, he returned to oversee the execution of 400,000 Hungarian Jews.

And yet even an “animal” such as he was not beyond the reach of God’s mercy.

My wife and I learned about Höss when a young nun from Poland came to speak at our church this week. I was taken aback when I first heard the telling, in part because I thought Sister Gaudia was speaking of Rudolf Hess, the deputy to Adolf Hilter. The names sound similar. But what happened to Höss, who held a less prominent position in the Third Reich, was perhaps more stunning.

The lecture was part of the parish’s observance of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, declared by Pope Francis. Sister Gaudia and Sister Emmanuela, members of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy — the congregation to which St. Faustina Kowalska belonged — are touring the United States, speaking about Christ’s revelations to St. Faustina and the image and devotion of the Divine Mercy. Sister Gaudia, by the way, is part of the planning committee for World Youth Day 2016, which will take place in Krakow this summer.

Seventy or so years ago, Krakow, and all of Poland, was a very different place than it is today. Sister Gaudia spoke of Auschwitz, one of the Nazis’ deadliest camps, with its extensive use of gas chambers and medical experimentation, set right in the heart of her country. One in six Jews killed in the Holocaust died there.

But the camp was not only for Jews. Catholics, such as Saints Maximilian Kolbe and Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), were here as well.

“One day they took the whole community of Jesuits here,” Sister Gaudia said. “Only the superior was not at home,” so he was not captured. “When he came home, he was in such pain that he said, ‘I need to be with my brothers.’”

Somehow, he snuck into the camp and searched for his brother Jesuits. The guards found him and took him to Höss. “They were totally convinced that he would simply kill him, without any questions,” Sister Gaudia said. But he let him go, much to the guards’ surprise.

After the war ended, Höss was captured, tried and convicted of crimes against humanity. He was sentenced to death, and the execution would be in Auschwitz, where he had worked diligently to implement Hitler’s “final solution.” He would be held in a prison in Wadowice (which, of course, was the birthplace of Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II).

Höss was in great fear — not of death, but of prison, Sister Gaudia said. “He was totally convinced that the Polish guards would take revenge on him and he would be tortured as long as he was in prison, and that it would be unimaginable pain. How great was his surprise when the guards — men whose wives, daughters and sons were killed in Auschwitz, treated him well. He couldn’t understand.”

And that, she said, was the moment of his conversion. “They treated him mercifully,” she said. “Mercy is the love we know we do not deserve. He doesn’t deserve their forgiveness, their goodness, their gentleness. And he received all that.”

Höss was a cradle Catholic but had abandoned the faith in his youth. Now, facing his mortality at age 47, and perhaps encouraged by the guards’ treatment, he asked for a priest. “He wanted to confess his sins before he died,” Sister Gaudia said.

Anxious not to scandalize her listeners, she reminded us that all of this transpired right after the end of a brutal war, when “wounds were very fresh.” The guards agreed to look for a priest, but “it was not easy to find a priest who would like to listen to the confession of Rudolf Höss. They could not find one.”

And then Höss remembered the name of the Jesuit he had let go a few years before: Father Władysław Lohn. He gave the guards the name and begged them to find him.

And they did find him — in the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow, where he was chaplain to the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. He agreed to go hear Höss’ confession.

“It lasted and lasted and lasted,” Sister Gaudia said. “And then he gave him absolution. ‘Your sins are forgiven. Rudolf Höss, you animal, your sins are forgiven. Go in peace.’”

Father Lohn saying “you animal” during absolution is no doubt a flourish Sister Gaudia threw in there, but the point was clear: no one is beyond the mercy of God.

The next day Father Lohn went to the prison again, to give Höss the Eucharist before he died. “And the guard who was present said it was one of the most beautiful moments in his life seeing this ‘animal’ kneeling, with tears in his eyes, looking like a little boy and receiving Holy Communion, receiving Jesus with his heart,” the nun said. “Unimaginable mercy.”

 
1px
 
 
 
 

 

Tags: