“Baseball is a metaphor for life.” You may have heard our longtime National Pastime described as such. But have you ever thought of baseball as a metaphor for life in a Catholic education? In the spirit of a famous George Carlin bit and with a new season upon us, consider:
In Catholic Education
A commissioner is responsible for approving the rules and requirements that govern the sport and how the game is played.
A bishop , as primary teacher, is responsible for approving the curriculum and course of study for his diocese.
A team owner manages finances, oversees expenses, hires an administrative staff, and approves player rosters.
A school president manages finances, oversees expenses, hires administrative staff, and directs student admission policies.
A general manager is responsible for player roster decisions (including discipline), hiring a field manager, and contract negotiations.
A principal is responsible for students in the school (including discipline), hiring teachers, and contract negotiations.
A manager instructs players on how to play the game, inspires them to do well, sticks up for them in every situation, shares their succesess and is affected by their failures.
A teacher instructs students in the lessons of their study, inspires them to do well, sticks up for them in every situation, shares their successes and is affected by their failures.
Support staff like coaches, team doctors, grounds crew, concession workers do much of the unheralded but vital work to make for a successful team.
Support staff like teacher’s assistants, nurses, cafeteria staff, custodians do much of the unheralded but vital work to make sure a successful school.
Players are the focus of a team; without them the team and the sport of baseball would not exist.
Students are the focus of the school; without them the school and Catholic education would not exist.
Fans have an equally important role as players; not only do they encourage the players with their cheers . . . they pay the bills!
Parents have an equally important role as students; not only do they encourage their sons and daughters with their love . . . they pay the bills!
Spend a day around the ballpark, you know God is there!
Spend a day around a Catholic school, you know God is there!
A Prayer for Athletes
Thanks, Lord, for giving me life; and talents
for my participation in sports
Help me to play well, to use my powers to
the full, to see them as gifts from you.
Be with me when I need to play hurt, when
I have to deal with the pain of injury,
Keep me aware of the bonds I have
with all people as brothers and sisters in Christ
even when they are opponents;
free me from the temptation
to fake, to foul, to cheat.
I need to see that dedication to the cause
will mean suffering, but let me know
that it is a kind of suffering that leads to new life
and greater maturity.
Help me play with heart, and never lose
Most of all, help me never to quit in my
efforts to be open to you. For I
believe your full coming into my life is
the way to real life, in all I do; I believe
it is the way of my becoming the truly
human person you destined me to be.
For more connections on sports and faith check out Holy Goals for Body and Soul: 8 Steps to Connect Sports with God and Faith by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki.