Catholic priest who’s passionate about sport tells BBC that physical activity brings us closer to God

A Catholic priest with a love of music and sport has been speaking to the BBC about the relationship between sport and faith.

Taking part in today’s Songs of Praise programme, Professor Monsignor Vladimir Felzmann said that physical activity can bring us closer to God.

“I see human life in terms of the P.I.E.S. – the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual,” Mgr Feltzman told the BBC.

“They’re totally interrelated but you can look at each individually and look at your physical and how is that getting on? Looking at your intellectual – how are your studies getting on? How’s your emotional life? How’s your spiritual life?

“And the physical helps the spiritual. The physicality helps me think differently, feel differently and come closer to God. And sport does that in my experience.”

Now aged 83, Fr Vlad this year set himself a remarkable physical challenge of completing an epic series of fast-walk circuits of The Sir Mo Farah Athletics Track at St Marys University, Twickenham, to raise £500,000 to replace the St Mary’s University, Twickenham Chapel Organ.

Fr Vlad is Visiting Professor at St Mary’s where he and heads up the Sport, Wellbeing, Inclusion, Faith (SWIFT) research centre.

During the programme Fr Vlad receives a surprise video message of support from the great Mo Farah himself.

“Amazing work. Incredible. You set yourself such a big challenge – so many laps around my track for a good cause. Amazing work. Look after yourself,” said Mo.

“everything I have is a gift from God,” said Fr Vlad.

“So I don’t want to insult the giver by not looking after the gift!”


Story by Joseph Kelly of

You can view the Songs of Praise episode here:

You can donate to Fr Vlad’s appeal at:

St Mary’s Sport, Wellbeing, Inclusion, Faith Research Centre:

One thought on “Catholic priest who’s passionate about sport tells BBC that physical activity brings us closer to God

  • January 14, 2022 at 12:35 pm

    Sports and Games – life in full flow. 83 years young, Fr Vlad is showing the way. Wishing the fast walker fitness, strength, and stamina.

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