Summer is short in Saskatchewan. Whether it is our busy season, or we finally have some time off from a long winter, we all deserve a break. It is the best time to travel to visit family, the lake, or just go for a Sunday drive. This is why, like school, many church activities slow down or cease for the summer months; we all need a break!
However! The weekend Masses are always available, in your home parish, or wherever your travels take you. Whether you are a weekly Mass attender or not, here are some tips to keep your church attendance up and maybe give you some new and exciting experiences of our world wide church!
1. Plan ahead. We research plenty of things in preparing for a trip, why not research destination Mass times? Many camps have Mass only during the summer months and they are filled with visitors! They are usually short, casual Masses that give a different feel than your regular parish Mass. They usually have websites, but if not, contact a parish close to your lake and ask!
2. Make it a pilgrimage. We take our kids to see new and/or historical points of interest such as science centres or Batache, why not mark a historical church on our list of travel stops? It could be a church with a saints name that is special to you and your family, or a church in a town that has significance to your family of origins. Saskatchewan is also home to many shrines, even National ones, and pilgrimage destinations, such as St. Therese in Wakaw, or St. Laurent north of Duck Lake.
3. Make it a trip. Planning to visit a zoo? Take the family to a church near the zoo as part of your day. Just going for a ice cream or a Sunday drive? Same thing! Summer is a great time to just wander around the church grounds and enjoy the outdoors and each others company after a beautiful Mass!
4. Hire a priest! Now, I don’t really mean that exactly so much as invite a priest. Just as you would invite a priest to supper Sunday night, invite him to come along on your Sunday road trip! Take him fishing or feed him supper after a late afternoon Mass. Invite some friends and you have a travelling church! And if you are gone for the whole weekend and that is why you couldn’t make Mass, simply ask him if he would like to meet you where you are travelling.
Hope to see you around this summer! God bless and may Jesus Christ be praised!