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The school year for us is filled with a routine. Ours revolves around school and school activities. Our daughters are involved in a variety of activities ranging from theater to basketball to show choir. Needless to say, most of our weeknights are action-packed and many of the Saturdays are filled as well. During these busy months we try to always keep one constant – our Sunday morning mass at St. Therese Church. It may seem crazy at times, but during those crazy times it’s always nice to have our Sundays set aside for faith and family.

Then comes summer. (Cue Olaf’s In Summer!)

The summer months come along and structure is thrown out the window. There are family vacations, weddings, reunions, camps, etc, etc. Unfortunately during this time it’s easy to fall out of any type of routine.

Maybe you’re camping and are a long ways from a church. Maybe you were out late catching up with your high school classmates you haven’t seen in 20 years, so you miss another service.

Unfortunately, our routine gets broken up and we lose track of our Sundays. One week gets added to another and all of the sudden we’re done with summer and back to school.

We’ve tried to break that trend here. It doesn’t matter if we’re on a family trip or out with our former classmates, we have consciously tried to get to our Sunday Masses. We definitely don’t get to our home church each week, but then we get some variety. We go to our hometown church and then get to find some new churches that we may have never been too when we’re on a trip.

So here’s a few things we do to keep us on track:

  1. Sign up as a lector, server, usher, cantor etc. This is a time of year when your parish ESPECIALLY needs you. Families are flung to the winds and volunteers are scarce.
  2. Find a “backup” local Mass time. For us it’s the Sunday evening 6:00 service at another Catholic church a bit down the road.
  3. Plan for a nap. After a long night out on Saturday, that alarm clock is my worst enemy. It’s painful to wake up after a short night of sleep. However, since I know I have brunch and a nap waiting for me, keeping a date with an early Mass time becomes exponentially easier. Added bonus is that the earlier Masses seem (to me) to be quieter and more reflective than later times.
  4. Before leaving for vacation, make a list of churches with their addresses and mass times. And do it for multiple churches because plans change. I had a training in Vegas and one session ran late, so my planned Mass time was a no-go. Luckily I had the mass times and addresses for 2 different churches handy.

And finally, don’t stress out if you get a mass time wrong. I once checked Mass times online for the Cathedral in Austin (beautiful, btw). Unfortunately the posted times were wrong or I read them wrong and we walked in right before the Our Father. A priest friend of mine later assured me that one is able to receive communion if they have properly prepared their heart and mind.

What are some of the ways that you make sure you don’t miss a single Sunday in the summer time?

Our Lady of Grace Visor Clip

Our Lady of Grace Visor Clip

Keep an image of your favorite saint clipped to your visor to keep your faith top-of-mind when you travel. Shop our vast selection of visor clips to find the perfect one.

Auto rosaries with magnet clasps

Auto rosaries with magnet clasps

Our Auto Rosaries with magnetic clasps make it easy to put your rosary around your rear-view mirror, and to retrieve it when you want to use it. Magnet is quite strong.

 

 

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In case you missed the coverage of Pope Francis’s Christmas speech to the Curia, here are just a few of the headlines that it produced:

Pope Francis, At Christmas Gathering, Blasts Vatican’s Bureaucrats : The Two-Way : NPR.

Pope warns Curia against ‘spiritual diseases’ | Crux.

Pope issues scathing critique of Vatican bureaucracy in pre-Christmas meeting | National Catholic Reporter.

Pope Francis

This is what I am really loving about Pope Francis. He doesn’t worry about the bureaucracy or playing nice and leaving things as is; If he see something that needs to get fixed, he tells us. Continue reading Christmas Speech by Pope Francis

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The song Hallelujah is one of my all time favorite songs. I first heard it on Jeff Buckley’s album Grace years ago. Since then, I have heard many variations of it performed by a variety of artists from Lenard Cohen (the original writer) to Justin Timberlake, to A-Capella groups and even in the movie Shrek.

However, I just found this version from the group Cloverton. They change up the lyrics (which always had a very spiritual feel to it) to tell the story of Christ’s birth.

Here is their version:

Here is my favorite version from Jeff Buckley

Have a wonderful Christmas season everyone.

-Travis

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Being a convert to Catholicism I have learned a lot over the past 14 years and even more these past few months of owning Discount Catholic Products. However, one of the things that I’ve always understood is the importance that the Pope has in the Catholic Faith. He is not just the leader of the one billion plus Catholics, but is seen as one of the moral leaders of the world.

While I took an interest in the election of Pope Benedict XVI, I was even more intrigued a year ago Continue reading Celebrating One Year of Pope Francis

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Let us pray that this is the beginning of peace and that thy cycle of violence that has taken the lives of so many innocents and has kept many more from making a pilgrimage to the holy land can come to an end.

 

“More than once we have been on the verge of peace, but the evil one, employing a variety of means, has succeeded in blocking it. That is why we are here, because we know and we believe that we need the help of God.” – Pope Francis

“http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1402357.htm

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