Adults and children feel some responsibilities lift as the school year comes to an end and we swing into summer with all its sunshine, barbecues and fun. Some are saying this summer, in particular, will be a “summer of revenge” because they are finally feeling the weight of the Covid-19 pandemic lift and are ready to start traveling again with a vengeance.
It is my hope then, that parishioners begin to return to God’s church with that same passion that has gotten people wanting to get back out into God’s beautiful world and explore. To me, there is no better way to start a summer Sunday than attending Mass, receiving the Holy Eucharist, and then venturing outside to enjoy the splendor of God’s bounty. As Catholics, each of us should want to return to church and fill the pews at weekend Masses. It’s time to return wholeheartedly to rebuild our church families.
The carefree days of summer can be a great time to volunteer a couple of hours of your time to your pastor, establishing plans that can set up your parish for some new programs in the fall and winter.
Since the kids are out of school, summer is also a wonderful time for families to find that all important time in their schedule to get back to Mass. Kids are free from sitting in classes all week, so being attentive for one hour at Mass on the weekends is a super way to bring their focus back to learning once a week. Our family likes to make a whole morning out of it and after attending Mass we may go out to eat or pack a picnic lunch to enjoy outside or at the shore. One fun idea is to invite another family or two from church to come with you and your family. Take advantage of these slow summer months to get to know some new friends.
If you are planning to travel this summer, when you make your itinerary, don’t forget to look up the Mass schedule for the Catholic churches in the areas to which you are traveling. With many, if not all, parishes having their own websites, it’s never been easier to find out ahead of time which Mass you may be able to attend.
One of the things I love about attending a parish on vacation is that it is usually in a tourist spot where the pastors are used to newcomers and really make a point of making everyone feel welcome. It’s awesome to think that you are sitting among many members of your Catholic family that are from far and wide, and yet you all found your way to God’s house in a new and strange place.
Wherever your summer plans and travels take you this year, remember to take your faith and the Lord with you.
By Marianne Nicholas