Five ways to practice your faith while on vacation

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imageShrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, Ala.

By Derek Pettinelli


1. Don’t skip Sunday Mass 

Make sure that your vacation away from home doesn’t also entail a vacation from your spiritual life. If your trip includes a Sunday, research local parishes and plan so you can fit Mass into your day. You can use MassTimes.org to find parishes near your vacation destination. Most parishes have websites where you can also check Mass schedules or download the latest weekly bulletins. 


2. Stop at a spiritual location

When planning your trip, try to find a holy site either at your destination or along the way that you can visit. You might consider looking for prominent parishes, churches, cathedrals, or historic locations relating to Catholicism, saints, or well-known clergy. This is a great way to incorporate an educational and spiritual component into your trip.

Catholic Digest’s special travel issue by Diana von Glahn, host of The Faithful Traveler, outlines numerous interesting Catholic destinations. You can purchase the guide at CatholicDigest.com. You can go to CatholicDigest.com/articles/travel/ if you’d like additional information about possible travel destinations. Visit TheFaithfulTraveler.com to watch clips and learn more about the television series. 


3. Incorporate spiritual reading

Make time for some reading during your downtime or travel time. Catholic Digest senior writer Daria Sockey, who writes the magazine’s BookShelf columns, recommends the following books as great spiritual reads: 


Pick one book of the New Testament. Use the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament for great commentary on difficult passages. For more information, visit Ignatius.com/Promotions/Catholic-Study-Bible/#Booklets.


The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis (HarperOne, 1973)


He Leadeth Me: An Extraordinary Testament of Faith by Walter J. Ciszek, SJ (Image, 2014) 


I Believe in Love: A Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Thérèse of Lisieux by Fr. Jean C.J. d’Elbée (Sophia Institute Press, 2001)


I Burned for Your Peace: Augustine’s Confessions Unpacked by Peter Kreeft (Ignatius Press, 2016)


4. Play games in the car 

If your destination requires a long drive, try to plan some educational activities or games for the ride. For example, you could have your family call upon various saints for blessings for a safe and joyous trip. Add a twist to this by going through the alphabet, trying to see how many saints can be named for each letter. From St. Aaron to St. Azas and Companions, there are certainly many “A’s” to go through, but you might struggle to name more than a few starting with “Z.” Use a game like this as an opportunity to make learning about new saints fun and interactive.


5. Pray

 

You can pray wherever you are, no matter how far from home. Try to begin or end each day with a family prayer, thanking God for the blessings of your trip and for safe traveling. Go to Catholic.org and search “travel prayers.” 


Derek Pettinelli

Derek Pettinelli is a 2017 graduate of Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, with a bachelor of arts degree in writing and mass communications and political science.