No doubt about it, summer has officially arrived. We’ve consulted some expert moms for suggestions on favorite pastimes that are sure to make this a summer your family won’t forget.
1.Climb the scenic tower or pray the Stations of the Cross at Holy Hill. Visit Holyhill.com for more information.
2. Say a rosary at the Archdiocesan Marian Shrine — afterward, don’t forget to cool down with custard at Gille’s on Bluemound.
3. Visit Milwaukee’s oldest church, St. Peter’s, which has been relocated to the Old World Wisconsin outdoor museum in Eagle. For more information, visit oldworldwisconsin.wisconsinhistory.org.
4. Have a garden? Donate some of your bounty to a local food pantry.
5. Explore the roadside Belgian chapels of Door County to learn about an Old World religious tradition imported to Wisconsin by 19th-century immigrants. For more information, visit doorcounty.com/experience/worship/belgian-chapels.
6. Celebrate the Year of St. Joseph by making a pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. Joseph in De Pere. For more information, visit https://norbertines.org/joseph.
7. Parish festivals are returning this summer — don’t miss these opportunities for fun-filled weekends that double as a great way to support local parishes. Learn more here (catholicherald.org/featured/start-making-plans-parish-festivals-to-return-this-summer/).
8. Invite your priest over for dinner.
9. Visit a parish thrift store. Milwaukee is lucky to have parishes and non-profits who operate thrift shops (St. Jude the Apostle Parish in Wauwatosa, St. Mary’s Visitation in Elm Grove, and the Christ Child Society on Good Hope Road, to name just a few) that not only support good causes, but are a treasure trove of great deals.
10. Go to Eucharistic Adoration as a family and out to dinner after.
11. Choose a feast day in the summer and say a novena in preparation, taking on a particular intention as a family.
12. Attend Mass on First Friday or First Saturday.
13. Visit the Schoenstatt Retreat Center for a double dose of nature and spirituality — and don’t forget about their DOME Family Event on July 17: https://schoenstatt-wisconsin.us/event/11406/.
14. Plan a Catholic scavenger hunt and have family members search for and take photos of different items — a church steeple, an outdoor shrine, a cross, a stained glass window, a Holy Water font. The possibilities are endless.
15. Visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. Consider joining them for their Sunday Family Rosaries. Learn more at championshrine.org.
16. Brush up on your local churches. As a family, make a list of five churches in the archdiocese you would like to visit. Take a mini-road trip, visit them all and choose a different person to pray for at each church.
17. Find a time each weekend to reflect on that Sunday’s readings as a family.
18. Make a “nature rosary” outside using rocks, pinecones, twigs — whatever you find in your yard.
19. Learn more about the faith by doing a Catholic Family Book Club. Choose a title that intrigues everyone and is age-appropriate for the kids.
20. Visit the Catholic Ecology Center to learn about stewardship of our earth — they offer many special events and even kids’ day camps during the summer. Learn more at catholicecologycenter.org/events.
21. Go to Confession as a family.
22. Set an alarm and commit to praying the Angelus at noon every day.
23. Going on a road trip? Play a Catholic podcast in the car.
24. Celebrate the Feast of the Assumption in style. Have a mini-Marian procession around your yard, bake a cake and place a Marian statue at a place of honor at your dinner table.
25. Going camping? Consider planning it near a shrine or church.
26. Commit to praying for a priest each day as a family. For a convenient calendar that lists a different Milwaukee Archdiocesan priest each day, visit Monthly Prayer Request for Priests on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Monthly-Prayer-Request-for-Priests-194872530530313).
27. Have a “religious chalk art” contest.
28. Try to eat outside once per week.
29. Make a shrine in your yard or garden — it can be as simple or as elaborate as you choose.
30. Ask your parish to connect you with an elderly parishioner who may need help with lawn maintenance, household duties or other tasks.
31. Support local agriculture by creating a farmer’s market tradition. Buy a vegetable you haven’t typically eaten or cooked with and find a new recipe to try.
32. Plan an “Imagination Vacation” — pick a country to “visit” as a family, check out travel books from the library, make food from that country and visit places associated with its culture.
33. Camp out in the backyard — make s’mores, have a family water gun fight, tell campfire stories.
34. Attend an outdoor Mass.
35. Have ice cream sundaes every Sunday night — sundaes on Sunday.
36. Bring a picnic to a park or outdoor show.
37. Consider a family retreat like Apostolate for Family Consecration’s Catholic Family Land.
38. Start a family question jar to foster good conversation when everyone is together.
39. Plan a regular family movie or game night. See if your parish has a Formed.org subscription for an amazing list of Catholic titles to choose from.
40. Attend Arise Family Day on July 24 — get a blessing from Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, meet local priests and religious and conclude the evening with Adoration and Confession.