How to Make Thanksgiving a Catholic Experience

Turkey, mashed potatoes, and football… we don’t think of Thanksgiving as a Catholic holiday, but it’s easy to make this day of gratitude a truly Catholic experience. Here are some ways to give thanks and share Christ’s love with your family and friends.

“When people get together, sometimes there are conflicts large or small. Considering recent political developments in our country, there’s a greater chance for interesting conversations around the Thanksgiving dinner table,” said Fr. Matthew Crane, priest of the Diocese of Saint Cloud. When disagreements arise, how do we discuss controversial topics while maintaining peace around the table?

The goal is to look for the common good, said Fr. Crane. “We can have the conversation, in fact, the Church encourages us to. … The point is not so much for me to win over you or destroy your argument or your position, but to both mutually agree that we are seeking the common good, and find a way there.”

Another great way to celebrate Thanksgiving is by attending Mass, either at your local parish or the parish nearby if you are out-of-town visiting relatives. On a day that is dedicated to giving thanks for the blessings in our lives, what better way to celebrate than to give worship and thanks to God, the source of our blessings?

In addition to attending Mass, it is a great practice to sit down with your loved ones, perhaps around the dinner table, to think about and share things for which you are thankful. Practicing gratitude is an important lesson for our children and grandchildren, and Thanksgiving can remind us to carry gratitude into our daily lives.

What are you most thankful for?