Neumann University Director to Speak on Sport, Mercy at Vatican

Lee DelleMonache
Lee DelleMonache

On Tuesday, Delaware County native Lee DelleMonache will board a plane bound for Rome, as her presence has been requested by the Vatican to speak on the issue of “Sport and Mercy” at the XIII International Symposium of University Professors from Sept. 7-11.

Born in Lansdowne and reared in Middletown Township, DelleMonache – the director of Neumann University’s Institute for Sport, Spirituality, and Character Development – is the sole representative from the United States who will speak in the “Sport and Mercy” track of the symposium.

She was invited to speak by the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education. Her topic is “Sport, Spirituality, and Character Development: Experiencing Mercy through a Unique Sport Ministry.”

Professors from Italy, the United Kingdom, and Kenya will join DelleMonache in addressing various aspects of the relationship between sport and mercy.

In a conversation with DELCO Today, DellaMonache elaborated on the intersection of sport and mercy, two terms that seem to have little in common in American culture.

“Honesty, it’s all about perspective and the way you view things,” she said. “We understand in the heat of battle you want to win. We respect that. In no way are we trying to make the world soft. But if you look at the Latin definition of competition, it means to strive with, not against.

“That’s where mercy occurs, between opponents competing with each other. We all want that LeBron (James) and (Stephen) Curry matchup, because they bring out the best in each other. It opens your eyes to the beauty of sport and God’s mercy in our lives.”

DelleMonache has been the ISSCD director since 2013. From 2005-2013, she served as its coordinator for management and planning, and as its liaison with numerous external organizations.

She holds a B.A. in English and communications from Cabrini College, an M.S. in sport management from Neumann, and is currently writing her dissertation for the organizational leadership Ph.D. program at Eastern University.

In the abstract of her presentation, DelleMonache writes: “Athletics has the potential to lead to a deeper understanding of the need for mercy in our lives. It offers a transformative lens through which to explore life’s most significant questions: Who am I? What is my place in this world?

“Research documents that this quest for discovery during the college years reveals college students’ hunger for spiritual nourishment. Educators, therefore, have a sacred responsibility to guide these young people on their journey of spiritual discovery.”

Founded in 1999, the ISSCD is based on the belief that sport possesses an inescapable spiritual and ethical dimension that merits academic exploration and practical application. The ISSCD coordinates the school’s team chaplain program and commissioning of student athletes, hosts team evenings of reflection and leadership training workshops for coaches and student athletes, and provides research and opinion on moral and ethical issues in athletics.

Join Our Community

Never miss a Delaware County story!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.