Eucharistic Encounter 1: Do you know how much THAT will cost?

Do you know how much THAT will cost?

If you want your children to always practice the faith, just listen to this story.

When I was a chaplain at Northridge Prep, a parent came to me with a dilemma. “Father,” he said, “I like to take my kids and family up north to go fishing during the summer. We fly into a lake in Canada and we’re going to be there for ten days.”

I immediately knew what the dilemma was: what would this family do for their Sunday Mass?

Clearly there was a solution: they were going to ask me to come fishing with them as their chaplain! But as he continued, I realized that wasn’t what was going to happen. Instead, he explained that they wouldn’t be able to get to Sunday Mass from their remote lake location. “Can you give me a dispensation for that?”

I wasn’t his parish priest, so I couldn’t do that for him. But as I thought about his situation, I had an idea: “Just fly out for Mass on Sunday while you’re in that remote lake in Canada!”

He looked shocked. “Fly out for Mass! Do you know how much that will cost?”

I said, “Yes. It’ll cost you the same amount of money that it did to fly in. And besides, nobody’s forcing you to fly in.”

He got very serious, thought about it, and thanked me for my advice. As it turns out, they all went up to that remote lake together. And when the time came for Sunday Mass, they all flew out together. Here’s the best part: when the owners of the lodge found out he was flying his family out for Mass on Sunday, they said, “We never get to go to Mass in the summer when we’re up here! Is there any chance we could go with you?”


Flash forward twenty-five years – the family still practices. All four of the children are faithfully married Catholics, and all of their grandchildren are baptized and practicing. I know the couple set a good example for their children, and I know they made memories that summer, especially when the father told his children that they were flying out to go to Mass on Sunday.

I hope you stay tuned to these stories about the holy Eucharist as we all prepare for the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis, in July 2024.

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Rev. Francis J. Hoffman, "Fr. Rocky" is the Executive Director/CEO of Relevant Radio and a priest of Opus Dei.