SWIMMING OLYMPIC gold medalist Katie Ledecky (center) receivesan award at an international competition. During her sportscareer, she has enjoyed a warm relationship with the sisters whoeducated her at a high school run by the R.S.C.J. sisters.
a prayer—or two—before any race. The Hail Maryis a beautiful prayer and I find that it calms me,”Ledecky told The Catholic Standard.
In her autobiography, Courage to Soar,
Biles noted many Catholic milestones in her
upbringing. For instance, she wrote about her
Confirmation day: “I marched into St. James the
Apostle Church that Sunday in a line of teenagers
with solemn faces . . . in a way, our procession
reminded me of a medal ceremony, except that
no gold, silver, and bronze medals would be
given out. Instead, our prize would be something
much more powerful: in a few moments, each
of us would bow our heads to receive the Holy
Sacrament of Confirmation.”
In drawing upon their faith and the support of
Catholic sisters, Ledecky and Biles are continuing
a tradition familiar to many Catholic athletes:
turning to God and community for strength,
courage, and perspective.
• Focolare (Italian for “familyfireside”) aims to contribute to therealization of Jesus’ last will andtestament: “may they all be one”and so build up fraternal relationsin society.
• L’Arche is dedicated to the creationand growth of homes, programs, andsupport networks for people withintellectual disabilities.
• The Neocatechumenate providescontinuing Christian instruction forCatholics in small parish-basedcommunities. =
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