Obviously, the highlights of my year-long trip will be the Sunday Mass attendance in a new church each weekend. And I won’t just be attending Mass, but spending time that entire weekend with the subjects and the church community, to the extent they’ll have me.
But those aren’t the only parishioners I’ll be meeting.
My plan is to embark on four 10- or 12-week trips. I’ll probably start off in the Southwest in winter, visit the Northeast in spring, the Northwest in summer and the Southeast in the fall. Of course, it doesn’t take 7 days to travel from Maine to New Hampshire or even from Montana to Idaho. That still leaves a lot of time to kill.
And I hope to have a way of filling that time. I’ll contact the dioceses I’ll be traveling through to learn what parish events will be taking place during the week. Events such as CYO games, BINGO, pot luck dinners or volunteer work – your typical life in a Catholic parish. And I’ll just drop in to take part. Ultimately, I’ll be fully immersing myself in Catholic life over the course of the year.
So as I winnow the suggestions for parish visits (and I’ve gotten some really intriguing ones already), some of the ones that don’t make the weekend cut may still get a dose of me during the weekend. I’ll leave that to them to decide if that’s a good thing.