Summer is HERE!!!!! I can almost hear the hallelujah chorus in the background!!!
Today, my mom and I had the chance to attend the final mass of the year for the kids who attend our parish’s school. It was so wonderful seeing all of these kids spending their last half day of school at church with all of the peers. And as much as I know they were all excited to get to their summers as soon as possible, Father gave them all (and everyone there) some wonderful advice. Even as we start our summer vacations, we can never take a vacation from our relationship with God. He is the most important part of our lives and we can never leave Him hanging while we have fun. There always has to be a balance!
While summer is a wonderful time to have fun and enjoy ourselves, we still have to stay close with Christ. And if we truly love Him in the way that He loves us, that shouldn’t be too hard. But in case we need help, here are some ideas for the ultimate Catholic Summer Bucket List!! Enjoy!
Go on a retreat or Catholic Conference: Summer Highlights!!! There are so many wonderful organizations that put on awesome summer activities for teens! Steubenville Conferences are so much fun and a wonderful way to grow closer to Christ through a community of faith and friendship. There are also many regional groups that put on retreats for people in their area. I have gone on a number of retreats and camps with a group called Miles Christi, which has branches all over the U. S. and Argentina. And for all you college bound juniors, many colleges, including Christendom College, offer summer camps for teens looking into their school. There isn’t really a better way to get to know a school better than living there for a week.
Commit to Prayer: Summer is the perfect time to commit to daily prayer. Though we can always find time to pray, it is even easier during summer to set aside some time for Our Lord. So, before our calendars fill us too much, we should all set some goals for spiritual growth.
Stop into random Catholic Churches while on trips: One of the cool things about going on trips is visiting different churches. You get to enjoy the beauty of another one of God’s dwelling places, hear a homily from a new priest, and listen to a different choir sing. And because of the universal aspect of the Church, it is still the same beautiful mass where ever you go.
Make a Summer Reading List: What better time then summer to make a massive reading list? I don’t even want to know how many books are on my reading list at this point, but its a lot! And summer time is the perfect time to sit down and get some of those books checked off. Between long car rides and trying to beat the heat inside, there is plenty of time to get some reading done!!
Serve your Community: There are so many ways for people to serve their communities, even in ways we would least expect. Soup kitchens are open year round, serving the poor, and are constantly in need of volunteers. Churches are often in need of help when it comes to organizing events during the summer, such as fundraisers and VBS. We are all called to service, even in the little things, so that includes everyday activities around the house as well. Sanctity happens everywhere!!!
Commit Time to Fostering Godly Friendships: Friendship is truly our model of the love of God. God has loved us as a best friend and ardent lover since the day we were created. By fostering godly relationships with those around us, we will grow closer to God and those we love. It is a win-win situation!
As we embark into these first few weeks of summer, I pray that you all have a blessed season, filled with a growth in your faith and love of Our Lord!!
Your Friend in Christ,