When You Pack Your Bags for Vacation - Don't Leave God Behind
Whether you're traveling overseas - perhaps on a pilgrimage as our son will do this summer - or to a different part of the country, travel offers great opportunities to deepen your faith.
When you pack your bags, be certain to take Our Lord with you! And don't forget to bring your rosary.
|Stop at a Shrine - When you travel across the United States, include a stop at one of the many beautiful Catholic shrines throughout the nation. Catholic Shrines USA is a terrific website that features a state by state list complete with photos and phone numbers.
TIP: Be sure to bring lots of single dollar bills with you to light candles for your intentions and for friends and family.
|Don't Forget Sunday Mass - Even if you're on vacation, your obligation to assist at Sunday Mass doesn't go away. While you're scheduling your trip, be sure to include Mass.
Mass Times for Travel is an excellent site for finding Mass times around the world.
TIP: Be certain to call ahead, as schedules can change and, sadly, parishes might close.
Don't be surprised if the congregation stands or sits or kneels (or doesn't kneel at all) in keeping with local customs.
|Visit a New Church - Even if you're not traveling, summer offers an opportunity to assist at Mass at other parishes.
As much as building strong connections to our home parish is a positive practice, it is always beneficial to attend Masses elsewhere to remind us that:
(a) the Mass is a universal sacrifice; (b) we need to keep our focus on Christ, not on the man who serves as alter Christi - the Priest.
It is nearly always a refreshing experience to visit a different parish. As much as we all hate to admit it, sometimes our worship can grow a little stale without change. Visiting a new Church also offers the opportunity to go to confession if you're uncomfortable with your home parish. And while you're there, why not stop in for a devotion you normally wouldn't try? A charismatic prayer group, an evening novena may open new spiritual doors.
TIP: Get there early so you have a chance to enjoy the Church building itself before the Mass begins. Be prepared for slightly different customs.
|Attend Daily Mass - While some love to sleep in during vacation time, others prefer to get up early so as not to miss a minute of the day. Why not take time to attend daily Mass? Most weekday Masses run for only a half hour and start anywhere between 6:00 am and 9:00 am. In larger towns and cities, you might find a lunchtime Mass. The benefits are countless. You'll be surprised.
TIP: Many parishes have additional devotions before or after Mass including novenas, the recitation of the Rosary or the Divine Office. Give yourself the opportunity to experience these as well.
Go to Confession - Too many Catholics seem to think that sacramental Confession is an archaic practice - or simply not necessary. And others may have gotten to know their parish Priest too well and feel uncomfortable confession to him. Don't miss that vacation time opportunity! Find an open Church and go!
|Don't Waste Annoying Delays and Layovers
Getting stuck on trains and planes and everywhere else seems to be inevitable. Take along a pocket New Testament - like this one - or a small book like My Daily Bread or The Wonders of the Holy Name.
They're easy to fit into your back pocket or purse and they just might start up an interesting conversation with a travel companion.
TIP: Tuck extra booklets into your carry on bag so you can share one with someone else who is stranded. Don't miss the opportunity to share the Good News!
TIP: If it has been a
long time since your
last confession, visit
our Confession Page for
a refresher and a