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Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary on the Lake,

With school being out we can now say that Summer has officially arrived! I must say what a joy it is to welcome all of the many families who come back every summer and make our parishes their home. I know we call it summer break but I am always amazed how busy this time of the year is as well. We have a number of fun youth events planned—make sure you get them on the calendar. Our seminarians are going to be around again for the summer and will be participating in our parish life. It is always fun to have four guys in the house so we have a built-in Euchre game. Plus, we are now into fishing season—most of my days off this summer will start with going fishing with my mom and brother.

As we are heading into our season of vacations and traveling sports, I want to mention a resource for finding Mass times wherever you go. I remember well this line from my seminary days before we took off for our breaks: “Don’t take a vacation from Jesus, don’t take a vacation from Mass.” This is a good way to test the level of our faith and commitment. Do I pray only when it is easy and convenient, or when it requires some planning and is perhaps even a bit inconvenient? I have had my share of moments where convenience and ease are what defined the depth of my love of God.

I really credit my twin brother, Fr. Gary, with being a great inspiration in helping me make that step to praying consistently, whether on vacation or in my regular schedule. Some of it was out of a sense of competition (even pride can help bear fruit in the spiritual life!). If he was taking time to pray, then I wasn’t going to let him outdo me. That has transitioned to brotherly accountability, and seeing the great fruit of having a consistent prayer life no matter what is happening on a particular day. This summer can be time to grow and mature as we make these intentional choices to pray, to go to Mass amidst the busyness of life.

I want to mention this great resource: . This is an app you can download on your phone. Then you simply open the app and it will tell you what the Mass and Confession times are in the local area you happen to be staying in. Earlier in the year one of our families sent me a picture of themselves with the pastor of the parish they went to when they were out of town with a traveling team. They picked the closest parish to where the tournament was taking place. It just happened to be my brother’s parish in Howell, MI!

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

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