A guest column from Fr. Michael Silloway, Chaplin of St. Pius Catholic HS
Faith on Vacation
Without fail, after every major break in the academic calendar, people tell me of their struggle to keep their faith alive once they go into “vacation mode.” After the fact, they regret letting Sunday Mass be replaced with strip malls or sand dunes.
The rhythm of the school year, however monotonous or rigorous, helps to keep families on schedule. There’s something about being busy that makes it easier in some way to stay faithful to Sunday Mass as a family. But , when tests and sports and work and plays and concerts and early mornings and late nights come to a grinding halt after spring finals, a strange paradox emerges; we have a more open schedule yet we make less time for God.
Today’s theme: Don’t take a vacation from your faith, but bring your faith on vacation.
Whether you are traveling across oceans or trekking only as far at the other side of I-285, staying close to the Lord on vacation will yield for you and your family a generous harvest and it is relatively easy to do. Thanks to a combination of the universality of our Catholic faith and the blessings of technology, no matter where on God’s green earth you go, Mass is never too far away.
Have you heard of www.masstimes.org?
You can search for Mass anywhere on the globe. For instance, the little island of Nassau in the Bahamas has no less than twelve Catholic parishes offering Sunday Mass from as early as 6:30 a.m. to as late as 6 p.m. Or perhaps you’re off to see the sights of Goobertown, Arizona; in the middle of the desert? St. Phillip’s offers four Sunday Masses for your choosing pleasure.
The Lord commands us to keep holy His day not for any reason other than because it is what is good for us. He knows how desperately we all need a break, time to unwind, and to simply relax with the people we love in the places we love. But what message are we sending to our family, to ourselves, and ultimately, to the God who created and loves us, when, with more freedom of schedule, we can’t make time to rest with Him as He nourishes us with the Word and with His Eucharist?
You will be surprised by how good it feels to spend some of your hard-earned “vacay” time with the Lord. See a new Church, hear a new priest’s homily, let the Lord catch you off guard with a new perspective or insight as you encounter Him in a foreign land. Bring your faith with you on vacation… you’ll never regret that you did.
May the Lord bless you and keep you this summer, giving you rest and preparing you for another great year ahead.
Peace in Christ , Fr. Michael Silloway