Don’t look now! Summer has five weeks left. Like many of us, it is a time we wish that didn’t go fast, or we didn’t do enough beach time, family meet-ups, getaways, or pilgrimage.
Thankfully, here are some suggestions that will help recharge spiritual life and even last-minute fun before summer is officially over on September 22nd.
ATTEND A RETREAT
Many retreat centers have either day or overnight retreats for all ages. Last summer, I had a chance to spend a weekend retreat at Malvern Retreat Center (located only 30-45 minutes from Philadelphia) for young adults, and it was a memorable weekend filled with fellowship, prayer, adoration, and amazing weather. I even had a chance to take an early meditative rosary walk in the morning.
TAKE A ROAD TRIP TO A NATIONAL SHRINE
There are plenty of shrines to visit and believe me, now would be a good time to visit them. Some are dedicated to saints such as St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, John Neumann, Fulton Sheen, and the list goes on. Here are the top 15 here.
HOST A PARISH OUTDOOR MOVIE NIGHT
My parents would talk about the days of drive-in theaters, especially during the summer months. If doing it at a parish, be sure to have some family-friendly films in mind and even help raise funds for the parish or for a particular charity.
One favorite end-of-summer tradition is Abbeyfest. First started in 2014, this event brought thousands of attendees throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Matt Maher headlines the musical lineup of rising and popular Christian artists and bands. To learn more, visit abbeyfest.com. The event includes vendors, artisans, organizations, and great food trucks. There is also a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Nelson Perez, which counts toward the Sunday obligation. There is something for families, young adults, teens, and singles.
LEAD A ROSARY WALK
With the warm weather and if done early enough, gather members of young adult groups, parish, and even Knights of Columbus council to walk around your community and pray the rosary. Take the Catholic faith out onto the streets.
Tip: Pray all 20 mysteries of the rosary when having the walk. Mix in an Ave Maria before announcing the mystery.
HOST AN OUTDOOR BIBLE STUDY
Another fun outdoor idea is bringing members of a bible study outside to enjoy the weather and God’s creation. What a perfect way to reflect on “The Creation” account found in the Book of Genesis.
Invite Catholics from the parish or young adult groups over yours or at someone’s house for a barbeque. Encourage people to bring food or drinks to share. Be sure to help the host or have other help when needed.
There’s nothing wrong with getting that Vitamin Sea before the season is over. Spend a few hours going to the beach, bring a frisbee, a good book, and even snacks. Pray while heading to your destination.
Gather school supplies for teachers in need. Serve food at a homeless shelter, hand out a lunch bag of food and toiletries to poor beggars on the street, anything that helps put mercy into action.
Remember, God doesn’t take a vacation so doesn’t the Catholic faith. The faith is practiced 24/7.