Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It’s somewhat funny what sticks with you from your youth. We all have our family traditions, some of which we carry with us well into adulthood. These traditions can be centered around things like holidays, or perhaps
vacations, or even more simple things like food. But whatever those traditions are. They help to shape our  experience of life.

I may have shared with you in the past about a particular tradition from my family about how we spent our Sundays. Growing up, we were 11AM Mass people. We’d sleep in a bit, have breakfast, read the Sunday paper
(really the Sunday Comics), and then go to Mass. And while Mass was an important part of the Sunday routine,

it did not stand by itself. For after Mass on Sunday, we always went back to the house and Dad would make some type of breakfast food for lunch. Many times, it was scrambled eggs or cheese omelets; though it was
occasionally pancakes too. On special occasions, Dad made waffles which as I’ve gotten older have realized was a real labor of love, since they can be a pain to make.

But that routine of sleeping in, going to Mass, and having Breakfast for Lunch made a lasting impact. For me at least, but for my brother too, it anchored Sunday. Mass and lunch with the family were essential elements of what we did every Sunday. Without one or the other, things seemed incomplete.

This weekend, the Holy Name Society is hosting one of its Pancake Breakfasts. I know I sometimes joke in my homilies about people coming just for the pancakes and perhaps forgetting about Mass, but the reality is, from my childhood, I’ve experienced the great link that can be formed when both the Mass and a delicious meal can be paired together. And if you go to the Pancake Breakfast, you’ll see my family eating. We no longer go to an 11AM Mass, life has shifted and now my parents and brother tend to go to the 8:30 Mass, but the essence of the
tradition is still there.

In a world that is forever busy and pressing upon your time, it’s easy to get swept away. Without a firm anchor, getting to Mass every Sunday can be a real challenge for many. But my sincere desire and prayer is that you might find some kind of Sunday routine that works for your family. Anchor yourself with Mass and something else. That way, when life shifts and pulls you in a new direction, you will always have the Eucharist and the love of your family to keep you grounded in the things most important in life.
Peace and Goodness,
Fr. Dan