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Come on, Dad…we’re on vacation…why do we have to go to Church?

That was my plea, but my dad said: “We don’t take a vacation from God”

Growing up in western New York State back in the 60’s, our family always went to church on Sundays,  even when on vacation.   Having to wake up and get dressed seemed out of place.  Wasn’t a vacation was supposed to mean a break from all the rules of every day life?  But my dad was serious about his religion and so we went to church on Sunday no matter where we were.

We were “low-church” Episcopalians (no “smells & bells” for us…we left that up to those who were “high church” Episcopalians….good grief, they might just as well have been Catholics).

In our church there was just a plain cross over the altar (which faced East, against the wall….we did have an altar rail and took communion kneeling, but the similarity ended there).

Phot of St Paul's Episcopal Church Harris Hill, NY
Photo courtesy St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Harris Hill, New York

(Now that I am Catholic, I miss the sense of reverence that came with kneeling at the altar rail, since they no longer exist in many Catholic churches).

We recited the Nicene Creed…but when we got to the part about one holy, catholic and apostolic church my big sister leaned over to me and said “don’t worry, that doesn’t mean we’re Catholic“….whew…what a relief…..apparently being Catholic was something to avoid at all costs, although I had no idea why!

Well, back to my point about going to church while on vacation:

It was pretty easy to find an Episcopal church in many towns…you could often find a sign like this one hanging as you entered the town.

We didn’t necessarily fit in….if it was a summer vacation town near a lake, then maybe, but otherwise we felt a bit out of place in our casual clothes among all those people in their “Sunday Best”.  Today, of course, vacationers might fit right in to those who trot off to their local Mass in shorts and flip-flops…but don’t get me started on that!

If you’re not lucky enough to spot a sign….yes, some Catholic churches still have them, but not many…..then be sure to plan ahead.

 

Cop with Nun in New York City
Photo by Felix Koutchinski on Unsplash

You might find a New York Cop…or a Nun… to help with directions, but that is pretty unlikely (kinda like the photo, though, so I thought I would add to this article).

We do have some suggestions for those going on a cruise…or those who might be looking for a Mass in an airport.

In the U.S. & Canada there is a website called Masstimes.org that is useful.

Otherwise, dads….spend as much effort planning to attend Mass as you do to getting to your destination!

 

Post by Harold Johnson

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