By Fr. Troy Richmond
The months of summer bring to many people a much needed break from the busy and hectic pace of the school year. As life slows down a bit and vacation time begins, there are several ways families can use this time to grow in their faith. Perhaps one of the following suggestions may help your family to make your vacation time not only a time of rest, but also an opportunity to grow closer to the Lord.
As you make travel plans this summer, research your vacation destination and plan to attend Mass in a nearby parish. Take home an extra bulletin to share with your parish priest who may find new ideas and inspiration for your own parish’s bulletin.
Consider taking your family on a pilgrimage this summer. Whether visiting the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin, visiting Marytown’s Shrine dedicated to St. Maximilian Kolbe just outside of Chicago or making a pilgrimage to our own Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport, take time this summer to make a pilgrimage part of your travels.
Finally, make time this summer to serve those in need. Volunteer as a family at the local soup kitchen. Visit the nursing home, offering cheer to those who are so often lonely and have no family or friends nearby.
Keeping in mind these opportunities to grow in your faith this summer, these months of vacation will help you and your family to resist the temptation to take a vacation from faith. Rather, as fall approaches, you will find your family rooted more firmly in the Lord.
(Fr. Richmond is pastor of Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish, Muscatine.)