Heads, hearts and hands in the game for Socktober

When Pope Francis was a boy in Argentina, he played soccer in the streets of Buenos Aires with his friends using a ball made of rags and tied together with string.

Even from his high position today on the Throne of St Peter, Pope Francis shares this in common with children from the poorest communities on earth.

Deacon Michael Hangan, Archdiocesan director of Catholic Mission, Hobart said it is this reality that captures the essence of Socktober for Mission Month.

“No other sport in the world has such metaphorical power to represent the bonds we can form with brothers and sisters with whom we may have little else in common,” he said.

“When we create our own sockball, made of recycled materials and bound together with string, we are joining millions of other children from every culture, past and present, and forming a clearer comprehension of what it means to be a ‘have’ or a ‘have not’. The empathy that comes with this is what drives our desire to make a difference.”

Dcn Michael said Socktober, Catholic Mission’s engagement program for schools in and around World Mission Month in October, provides young people with the opportunity to lead in mission, encouraging them to think not only of what they will do to help, but why they will do it.

“Through the head, heart, hands model, Socktober offers educators a wealth of resources to deliver the essential mission component of the Catholic curriculum for their students, while touching on other areas such as history, geography, physical education and humanities,” he explained.

“Through the powerful metaphor present in the world game of soccer, students experience the reality of other children in developing countries, learn their stories, and take concrete action to support them.”

The program includes a six-module journey of learning and formation, packed with activities and resources, and a popular penalty shootout activity which can be held on a school’s mission day.

As students kick their goals, they seek sponsorship from friends and family, with all funds raised supporting mission projects in Thailand.

Primary and secondary schools are invited to register for Socktober by heading to socktober.org.au where they can find all the resources and activities to fully engage with World Mission Month in 2021.

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