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Our readersJuly 13, 2018
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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.”

Your Take: How do you practice your faith over the summer?
Does your Mass attendance change during the summer?

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.

Spiritual challenges

“Some missed Masses, more time traveling and attending special events.” - Beth N., Carolina Shores, N.C.



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Tim Donovan
5 years 11 months ago

I've lived in a quality nursing home/rehabilitation center since October, 2015, so I'm_not able to attend Mass at my parish. However, on the last Wednesday of each month the pastor of a local parish celebrates Mass, which I attend. Father is very humorous and gives a brief but interesting homily. I do watch on television every Sunday morning at 5:30AM Mass. Also, every Sunday morning I push a friend/resident who's in a wheelchair to a Communion Service. This involves different Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist praying the Nicene Creed, the Prayer of the Faithful, and the First and Second Readings as well as the Gospel. We then pray the Lord's Prayer, exchange the Sign of Peace with those near to us, and then have the opportunity to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. I only receive Holy Communion if I feel worthy. Once a month I go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation when my compassionate pastor is kind enough to visit me. I also receive the Eucharist, and usually the Sacrament of the Sick. Every day as I get dressed I silently pray the Apostle's Creed and at the phrase, "the forgiveness of sins" I reflect on my recent sins and try to think of how I can do better during life. Once a month several women from a local parish come and pray the rosary, and I usually attend and pray a decade of the rosary. One woman then reads the First and Second Readings and the Gospel for the coming Sunday. Since I try to be ecumenical (my Mom was raised a Presbyterian, became a Methodist when she was denied Communion by her pastor for marrying my Dad who was a Catholic, then converted when I was a teenager, and several of my friends, former neighbors, former co-workers, many nursing home residents are Protestants, as well as my sister-in-law and niece are Presbyterians), once a month I participate in a prayer meeting with singing led by a local Baptist minister, accompanied by several members of his congregation. I also try to read Our Sunday Visitor (either online or in its printed form) as well as America (either online or in magazine form). Each day online I read a reflection on the day's Gospel by Lo s Angeles Auxiliary Archbishop Robert Barron. I also do my best each day to assist other residents of the home with their personal needs (I assist my roommate by helping him out on/take off his socks and shoes, pick up objects that he drops, and often pour him a drink from the snack cart at the nurses station. In turn, he gives me teabags and occasionally is kind enough to give me cash to buy a soda from our soda machine. I also sometimes push several other residents in their wheelchairs, and each day at our Coffee Social get a snack for another resident who can't attend the Coffee Social (I enjoy drinking two cups of hot tea and talking with my friends). Twice a week we can play Bingo in the main dining hall. I push my friend in her wheelchair from her room to the game, and after the game help the activity aide pick up the cards and chips. Then I push my friend back to her room, as well as usually push another resident from the dining hall to the dining hall upstairs. These are very minor matters, I realize, but I enjoy helping other people out (I'm a retired Special Education teacher) and believe helping others in need is part of our faith in Jesus. Finally, once a month I make modest contributions to both Catholic as well as secular charities. Sadly, two nights ago the elementary school of my parish caught in fire and was destroyed. Next month I will make a modest contribution to my parish (I do support my parish financially, as well as the parish of the priest who celebrates monthly Mass at the nursing home) in the hopeful rebuilding of the parish school.

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