The Day of the Lord: Archdiocese of Detroit 'reclaims Sunday' and ceases youth sports

The Archdiocese of Detroit announced a new policy Wednesday to cease youth sporting activities on Sundays, in a renewed effort to "reclaim Sunday" as one for worship, rest and family time.

The police was unveiled in Archbishop of Detroit Allen H. Vigneron's latest pastoral note titled "The Day of the Lord."

"In our time, Sunday has slowly lost its pride of place," Vigneron wrote. "In the Archdiocese of Detroit, we are committed to setting aside this day as much as possible for God-centered pursuits" such as Mass, personal prayer and Bible studies as well as dedicated family time and activities centered on sharing faith with others.

Therefore, youth involved in sports through the Catholic High School League (CHSL) and Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) will no longer have practice or games scheduled on Sundays. 

The policy will be implemented this fall.

Officials say the move has local roots in a 2016 gathering of clergy and members. They are aware of other U.S. dioceses moving toward limiting Sunday sports.

"In shifting away from the hustle of required sporting activities on Sunday, we will reclaim this holy day and create more time for families to choose activities that prioritize time spent with each other and our Lord," Vigneron continued in his note. "As the Catholic Church, our primary role is to form disciples. Informed by Synod 16 and inspired by the Holy Spirit, we look forward to abundant blessings as we seek to abide by our God's teaching to keep holy the Lord's Day."

Pope Francis has called on Catholics to preserve Sunday's holiness. Pope John Paul II wrote about it in an apostolic letter in 1998.