One, Holy Catholic, & Universal Church
During some of my time away these past few months, I found myself on the road and had the opportunity to face the challenge of finding and attending Mass. As we enter the more intensive road trip season, it’s a blessing to know that weekend and weekday Mass is available all over the place and that there are apps to make the search much easier.
I use Find a Mass by Jump4joy! This gives me Mass locations and times, directions and a link to parish websites. This last piece offers crucial information. For instance, if you were in Spring Branch and found that you were not far from St. Andrew Kim parish, you might plan to zip over there for the convenient 10:00 a.m. Sunday Mass. Upon arrival, you would find that everyone in church was speaking Korean. Nice people, beautiful liturgy, but not what you were looking for. Check out the website!
Always plan to arrive for Mass early – both at POP and when travelling. Allow for parking challenges, road construction and the unexpected. Make sure at least one of your family is carrying rosaries for everyone. Some parishes have the public rosary instead of private prayer before Mass.
Plan to stay a few minutes after Mass to take a closer look at the decorations and religious art in the church building, its windows, floors, ceilings. You’ll notice some of the décor during Mass: don’t pass up the chance to get up close and personal. The worship space is not just about beauty or creating an environment: it is an expression of faith. If you are a group or a family, some of the travelers may have questions about the meaning of different symbols, pictures, practices (candles, poor boxes) or banners. If you see something you like, take a picture of it! If something causes you confusion or is unclear, take a picture so you can ask someone at Prince of Peace when you arrive home. Or email it to us for almost-instant interpretation.
Many of our parish travelers bring back parish bulletins, handouts and even musical titles from their trips. Our parish staff here is always anxious to see what other parish communities are doing.
One of the great gifts of our Catholic faith is that there are so many churches celebrating the gift of the Mass in so many places. Travelling is not an excuse to miss Mass: it is an invitation to a wonderful new experience of worship and prayer in the midst of the one, holy, Catholic and universal Church!