Sports Have Become Our Weakness


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Fr Chase Hilgenbrinck, former professional soccer player and now a Priest of the diocese of Peoria, IL, serving at the University of Illinois St John Newman Center, was one of our keynote speakers at our last SportsLeader Conference.

He gave us a powerful message to really dig deep and review how we are doing sports in our country, in our school, in our team.

We encourage you to give this some time.

May God bless you.

Virtue = Strength 

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Fr Chase Hilgenbrinck, former professional soccer player, now Priest of the diocese of Peoria, IL.


The one thing that our students need more than ever is interpretation of life.


Our kids today live in the information age so our kids don't need more information they need interpretation, they need somebody to interpret life for them.

Anything that you want to tell them they've probably already Googled and found out about online.

They need interpretation of life.

We don't have interpreters for sports today.

Sports were meant to be what we do with leisure on Sunday afternoons to form family, to form fraternity, to form friendship, to have leisure on the Lord's Day.

And what has happened?

We put sports above all things.

Our stadiums have become the new cathedrals.

We need to be the people who have to interpret life for them.

Sports have become our weakness in our Catholic faith.


There's such a chasm between sports and faith.

I felt it in my life and in my own career, that chasm and that tension there is between sports and faith and how to live them both.

Sports demand everything of us.

It's a beautiful thing that's also a hell of a thing.

They demand everything.

They demand all of our time, all of our attention, every effort that we have. It demands sacrificing of everything in our lives.

Yet isn't that what Jesus Christ taught us about His life?

That our Faith should demand all of our attention, it should demand all of our effort of our mind, body and soul.

Everything that we do should be devoted to Him.

And that's what we call sports today.

That's what we do for sports and we're willing to do it in the name of sport but we are not willing to do in the name of Jesus Christ.

We're willing to miss Mass without a thought ...

So what do we have to do?


We need, first of all, to be interpreters.

We need to call that out and second of all we need to make our weakness our strength.

We need to make sports the catalyst that brings people to holiness and that is the message of SportsLeader.

That's what SportsLeader is doing and when it's run well that's exactly what it could do in your school, in your community, in your parish, in your life.

It’ll bring people back to the faith.

People want to lay down their life for something.

Teach them how to lay down their life on the court, the field, the mat, the pool, the ice, the course … then show them how to lay down their life in the Christian faith for Jesus Christ.

That's what SportsLeader pretends to do.

That's the tool of interpretation.

But we need interpreters.

We are those people.

That's the effort that we need to put forth.