NEW ORLEANS — A new policy for Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans aims to reclaim Sunday as a day focused on faith and family rather than sports matches and social events.
The policy is “rooted in the fact that people have a number of obligations and commitments. Our society is fast-paced,” Archbishop Gregory Aymond told the New Orleans Advocate.
“In living such a hectic life, people neglect sometimes, not purposefully, the very basics of faith and family,” he said.
Archbishop Aymond started asking schools to reduce the number of events scheduled on Sundays during the 2012-2013 school year, alongside his declaration of 2013 as a “Year of Family and Faith.”
For the upcoming 2013-2014 school year, the archbishop is requiring Catholic schools run by the archdiocese and by religious orders to stop scheduling school events on Sundays. According to the Advocate, the rule will be the official policy for the archdiocese by the 2014- 2015 school year.
The new measure has been met with support, although some coaches have voiced concern over scheduling problems and whether their teams will struggle from a lack of Sunday practices. In addition, junior-varsity high-school games, which are normally held on Sundays, have had to be rescheduled or canceled.
Father Charles Latour, principal of Archbishop Hannan High School in Covington, La., told the Advocate that although athletic and social events have had to be rescheduled, the changes have been welcomed.
“We’re always running,” he said. “At some point, it’s important to stop and recognize that God has blessed us.”
Cynthia Thomas, president of the all-girls St. Mary’s Dominican High School, explained why such a change is valuable to the school system.
“The success of our school depends on family life,” she told the local publication. “This is another opportunity to strengthen that, and in the long run, I see it only benefiting everyone involved.”