The movement Scholas Occurrentes, founded by Pope Francisco, has received great recognition in the United States. The city of Los Angeles has made August 13 official as the «Rag Ball Day» as a tribute to the ten years of the Holy Father's papacy and the work of Scholas Occurrentes in the educational and sports field.
The text had the unanimous support of the Board of Supervisors, the body with executive and legislative functions that includes Hilda Solis, Holly Mitchell, Janice Hahn, Lindsey Horvath, and Kathryn Barger. In this way, Los Angeles is preparing for a future full of sporting and educational values, inspired by the legacy of Pope Francis and the exemplary work of Scholas Occurrentes. “Pelota de Trapo Day” represents a significant step towards building a more supportive society committed to education and sports.
Rag Ball Program
The program will bring together high school students of all backgrounds and faiths from across Los Angeles for athletic, educational and leadership experiences. It will last three years and aims to work with young people from the 88 municipalities of Los Angeles County and promote civic participation in each community through sports. Pope Francis personally chose Los Angeles to launch the first American stage of the Pelota de Trapo Program, joining Argentina, Italy, Mozambique and Spain.
A commitment to sporting values
The Los Angeles government is committed to applying the sporting values promoted by the “Pelota de Trapo” program in large-scale sporting events, such as the Copa América soccer 2024, he 2026 World Cup and the 2028 Olympic Games. This commitment is materialized through the creation of “Día Pelota de Trapo”, which seeks to inspire the community to follow these values in sports practice.
Joint work between Scholas, LA84 and Los Angeles County
"Pope Francis recognized that Los Angeles will become a kind of world sports capital by hosting three major global events such as the Copa América 2024, the FIFA World Cup in 2026 and the Olympic Games in 2028," he said. María Martha Barreneche, Executive Director of Scholas Occurrentes USA.
"Pope Francis advocates for unity and inclusion, and his Pelota de Trapo Program will use the power of sport to inspire young people in our communities to live as we play," he said. Renata Simril, President and General Director of the LA84 Foundation. “Our mission is to ensure that all children have opportunities for inclusion and access to the lifelong benefits that sport and play provide. With its goals of creating new connections between young people and deepening their commitment to the community, the LA84 Foundation is committed to the vision of the Pelota de Trapo Program.
«Los Angeles County enthusiastically welcomes Scholas and the Pelota de Trapo educational initiative to our region to cultivate leadership, civic engagement and networking opportunities for young people through the love of sports and play» said the Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath, which declared August 13 as “Rag Ball Day” in Los Angeles County