In response to the above, an overwhelming number of respondents described how they found God in nature in a special way during the summer. “I see God a great deal in the summer landscape,” said Cynthia Torres-Nusse of Lakewood, Calif. “It doesn't have to be a nature scene; it may be watching more people outside enjoying the longer days.” Jackie Mehler of Erie, Pa., concurred: “I see God in nature…. In summer I savor the beauty of flowers and rainbows especially.”
Other respondents described how they made an effort to visit new parishes, either in their hometowns or elsewhere, if they happened to travel. “My Mass attendance is not affected in summer, but locations change as I travel. It is fun and interesting to explore other parishes with my friends,” said Kristeen Bruun of Weatherford, Tex.
For others, the summer brings spiritual challenges. Patricia Mascone of Franklin, N.J., has a restrictive summer work schedule. “I have to work all summer weekends, often for 12-hour days. I try to do more devotional reading and say the rosary. I miss being able to go to Mass and novena—it is a difficult season for me spiritually.”
Bill French of Everett, Wash., also reported that his Mass attendance drops off during summer. “I’m a really good Advent to Easter (Pentecost if I’m dutiful) Catholic. I don’t know if it’s just the increased pace of life during the summer or the call of the natural world, but I’ve never been able to sustain regular attendance through the whole year.”
Another group of respondents said their faith practices were unchanged during summer. “I am still an active participant at Mass during the summer, wrote Cindy Trainque of Leominster, Mass. “For every lector or eucharistic minister or even altar server who needs a replacement because of vacation, I try to accommodate.”
“I see God in nature. Standing on a rocky point with the ocean waves splashing in front of me gave me a very different perspective of God’s majesty displayed in the world that he created. It was breathtakingly beautiful and brought peace to my soul.” - Becky Wilhoite, Lexington, Mass.
“My faith practices are the same as the rest of the year: Mass on Sunday and when able, Mass during the week.” - Barbara Wentworth, D.H.M., St. Louis, Mo.
“I am less structured in my prayer and, frankly, probably spend less time on it than usual. But I don’t stress about it. Maybe it’s because I feel closer to God as reflected in nature.” - Marion Boden, Hampton Bays, N.Y.
“I try to make time each day either outside or in a new place around town to pray and reflect on the day (sort of an Examen).” - Ed Nunez, Milwaukee, Wis.
“Some missed Masses, more time traveling and attending special events.” - Beth N., Carolina Shores, N.C.