Good Catholics on vacation always make time for Sunday Mass. The locations for churches and the times of services are generally easy to obtain online. It doesn’t take much advance planning to include worship as part of one’s time away from home. When you enter the church as a visitor, introduce yourself to a greeter or minister. Let someone know where you come from. Most locals are happy to say a word of welcome, but they do not always know who is visiting and who is not.
Participate well. Pray sincerely. Sing the hymns. Contribute generously to the collection. Some people contribute sparingly. But the church you are visiting has generously provided you a place to worship. Its members would appreciate a spot in the budget you made to enjoy your vacation. If you know in advance that you cannot attend Mass some Sunday, you should obtain a dispensation from your pastor. If you are in your own church when visitors arrive, help them feel welcome; show them around. Above all, make an effort to worship every Sunday, even when you are away from home. God never takes a vacation from you.
(Paul Turner, pastor of St. Munchin Parish in Cameron, MO, holds a doctorate in sacramental theology from Sant’
Anselmo University in Rome.)