St Dorothy's School, Ħaż-Żebbuġ
13th May 2019
I’m very happy to be here today for the inauguration of the sports track. It’s so encouraging to see the tremendous development of school facilities, providing students with the resources and the environment that can promote their physical health.
I’m so happy to be here because of the long association of my family with St Dorothy’s – my four sisters were students at St Dorothy’s, and my sister has been a teacher at this school for 33 years.
Two days ago, on Saturday, Pope Francis met with a group of 400 members of the Italian Sports Centre, celebrating their 75th anniversary. In his address, he said that, through sports, young people are offered a healthy and positive lifestyle, based on the Christian vision of the person and society. Sports help us acquire self-esteem, self-control and respect for others.
The Pope emphasised that sports can help people to work within the framework of the rules. When you face a competition, he said, you learn that rules are essential to live together; that happiness is not found in disregarding the rules, but in pursuing your goals faithfully; and you also learn that you no longer feel free when you have no limits, but when, within your own limits, you give the best. We must be masters of our limits and not slaves to our limits.
The world we dream about, the Pope said, is one based on healthy competition, which always sees the opponent as a friend and brother or sister. The Christian vision means learning to look at others with the very eyes of Jesus. The Gospel shows us a world in which the diversity of others is not a reason for division, but for growth and mutual help.
The Pope also emphasised our love for the poorest and the weakest, which is an integral aspect of St Paula Frassinetti’s vision for the school. In sports – as in every aspect of our lives – we should aim to strive to the best of our ability, but also stop to help anyone who ‘falls’ along the way, with the knowledge that in them we are meeting Christ himself. We should be close to those who are weakest, so that they may participate in the various activities together with others, and never feel excluded.
Many thanks to all those who have worked so hard over the years to realise this dream. I pray to God that he may bless you all and keep you always in his care.
✠ Joseph Galea-Curmi