By TAMI QUIGLEY Staff writer
St. Ignatius Loyola, Sinking Spring is “serving” up faith and fun this summer with recreational volleyball that welcomes both parishioners and community members to join in the quintessential summer sport.
This is the first summer the parish is offering the activity, which was the brainchild of Father Stephan Isaac, assistant pastor and volleyball aficionado.
“It’s wonderful. We have 16 to 20 people consistently each week,” said Father Isaac. “It’s open to parishioners and nonparishioners so it’s cool in that sense – building community in the parish and reaching out beyond the parish.
“We have Catholics and non-Catholics so it’s multi-faceted in the sense that it has an indirect evangelizing effect.”
All ages all welcome to play, and though participants are mostly young people there are older players as well. There are no tournaments, it’s just for fun.
Father Isaac said he and Father Thomas Bortz, pastor, both love volleyball, especially Father Isaac, who played in a lot of summer leagues – on the beach and indoors – during his college years. He asked Father Bortz if they could launch the recreational volleyball program, and it’s been a hit.
Participants play each Sunday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in the St. Ignatius auditorium. Volleyball began in early June and will conclude Sunday, Sept. 17.
“It’s a simple, fun and effective way of building community and evangelizing,” said Father Isaac. “We need to be creative and need to think of things like this as a church going forward.”
“We also have a ’35 and Older’ Sunday evening recreational basketball program. They have been playing for years,” said Father Bortz.
“Anytime parishioners get to interact outside of church/holy Mass – there is a bonding that is forged and it helps to foster a genuine community spirit.”