Our take: The 2012 Olympic summer games, which begin on July 27, will open with fanfare and ceremonies featuring athletes from around the world. As part of the celebration, the Catholic Church in England and Wales are planning special Masses for the Olympics and the Paralympics for people of faith to take part in to give thank to God for blessings and opportunities.

The Catholic Church in England and Wales will celebrate special Masses to open the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games, which begin on July 27.

James Parker, Catholic Executive Coordinator for the 2012 Games, said many past Olympians and sports professionals from across the world and the London area are Catholics who take in the thrill of the games.

These men and women better than most know the importance of keeping God firmly positioned within their sporting journey, he said.

They are being invited to join the rest of the Catholic community in giving thanks to God for the many opportunities that the Games present not only to our nation but to the whole world at this time.