Keeping life worth living

by Chad Prososki | Catholic Charities

“It is a challenge to be intentional about your summer plans, to enjoy the good things of life, to make time for faith, family, and friends. Try clearing your schedule for what is most important to you.” – Chad Prososki

Archbishop Fulton Sheen was known for his popular national television show Life is Worth Living. It was a beloved show not just by Catholics but by people of many faiths, and very different from most of our popular shows today.

Sunshine, lakes, and vacations, what a wonderful time of year it is! Doesn’t summer help make North Dakota a place worth living? It always amazes me when the sun finally comes out again and so do all the people. Suddenly, we realize that others actually live here in North Dakota as we see people walking, jogging and biking around town. Do you ever wonder, “Where did all these people come from, and where have they been the last six months? Were they actually hibernating from the cold all winter?”

Early in life, we learn that summer is a time of rest and relaxation. As children we enjoyed a three month break from school after our studies and all the activities and sports during the school year. But do we still take advantage of summer to recuperate, or do we become even more overwhelmed? Do we look at our calendars and see every weekend booked until October? Do we go on vacation and need another one when we return just to recover from traveling? Why is this? What can we do about it?

It is a challenge to be intentional about your summer plans, to enjoy the good things in life, to make time for faith, family, and friends. Try clearing your schedule for what is most important to you. What are the things in life that make life worth living, as the Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen reminded us? Taking a moment to remember this timeless advice can be a great investment in our own happiness.

I also invite you to remember those in need. Unfortunately, the problems of hunger and homelessness don’t go away in the summertime. While the need for shelter might not be as pronounced, it’s still there even if it is more hidden. Hunger, especially for children, can be even worse as some kids miss out on the steady, stable meals provided in school. Although depression can increase during the long winters and holiday season, we are seeing demand for counseling services remain as high as ever.

The summer can also be a tough time for the nonprofits and ministries that depend on your support. Many see their donations dip. At Catholic Charities North Dakota and many other local organizations, the summer is the slowest time for fundraising, which can make it tough to meet budgets. While donations go down, the needs of the poor and vulnerable don’t stop. It can be equally tough on parishes when people often travel or go to the lakes on the weekend from May into September.

Despite this, there are some great ways to continue participating in the good works of your church and favorite charities during the summer. Electronic newsletters and bulletins are available. Many places now offer monthly or online giving programs for your convenience. This way you can set it and forget it knowing that you will be supporting your favorite groups all year long, and they know they can count on you too. However you choose to remember those in need, please keep in mind the ministries that rely on your support to help and serve others throughout these summer months!

Chad Prososki is the Director of Development and Community Relations for Catholic Charities North Dakota.