23 January 2013

My Own Catholic Bucket List

A blogger I love posted her own Catholic Bucket List over here last week. Go check it out. I'll wait.

I have actually done a lot of those! But most of them happened on my study abroad trip to Italy back in 2004. In fact, a few of them all happened in the same day. It was the day I struck out on my own one weekend to give a visit to my confirmation saint, St. Dominic. His basilica and final resting place is in Bologna (say it with me: buh-LONE-yuh), which I thought would be an easy trip from Verona, where I was studying.

I ended up on a 3-hour tour with a monk who spoke choppy English, but was so happy to be practicing it. I got shown relics and the entire grounds. I had planned to attend vigil mass there that night, and while on the tour, the brother invited me to it . . . as it was a rather large ordination mass. He even invited me to some sort of celebration dinner, but I politely declined. I went to the mass, but not the dinner. In hindsight, I probably should have, as I ended up choking on prosciutto and then sleeping outside a train station that night. Oh, did I mention I was by myself? Yeah, not my best night. But I did make it to Pisa the next day to climb that leaning tower.

Anyway, Kathryn's list is very travel-heavy, and rather expensive to complete. I actually consider it more of a "dream sheet" for many people. Since "catholic" means "universal," I decided to respond with my own Catholic Bucket List in which most of the activities easily done wherever you are. Many of these would be good for a recent convert or a cradle Catholic who is just coming to really love her faith. Only the last 5 involve traveling. I've done some of these, and others I hope to do soon!
  1. Attend a mass in a language you don't understand. 
  2. "Crash" a wedding mass of complete strangers. It's not really crashing, since sacraments of initiation (and all masses) are open to the public!
  3. Attend an ordination. Bonus points if it's a bishop's instillation!
  4. Take communion on your tongue. Or on your knees. Or try to take the cup with a baby on your hip. (I still have not attempted that one.)
  5. Bring up the gifts at Offertory.
  6. Go to Easter Vigil and welcome the new Catholics into the Church afterward.
  7. Visit a convent or monastery.
  8. Read the entire Bible. Yeah, that includes Tobit!
  9. Invite your priest over for dinner.
  10. Attend an outdoor Via Crucis/Living Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.
  11. Pray a rosary on a beautiful night under the stars.
  12. Attend a Tridentine mass. Stumble through the Latin if you must.
  13. Go on a weekend retreat as an adult. And/or a mission trip.
  14. Pray at a Marian grotto.
  15. Go on a Holy Thursday pilgrimage in your town: travel to and practice Eucharistic adoration at seven different churches after Mass on Holy Thursday.
  16. Participate in the March for Life in Washington, D.C.--or your hometown. (Hopefully one of these days I can take this off the list, as it won't be necessary any more. Just maybe.) 
  17. Visit the Vatican, and make sure to see the Sistine Chapel. And climb to the top of the cupola! Marvel at the Pietà and rub St. Peter's toe. Oh, and check out one of the little adoration side chapels and say hello to Jesus.
  18. Climb the Scala Santa on your knees, praying on each step.
  19. See the Pope in person.
  20. Visit the Holy Land with a priest-led group.
(I'll confess--I stole borrowed some of these from this Chicago-centric list.)

What would you add to your own Catholic Bucket List? And what is on your Catholic dream sheet?


  1. I've always wanted to do #2! When I was in college I knew TONS of people from the catholic student association that got married but I never knew them well enough to get invited and I always wanted to go to the church part of the wedding but I never had the guts to go.

  2. Visiting the Vatican has always been a dream of mine. Now I know exactly what to do when I get there--"make sure to see the Sistine Chapel. And climb to the top of the cupola! Marvel at the Pietà and rub St. Peter's toe. Oh, and check out one of the little adoration side chapels and say hello to Jesus."

  3. Tobit is one of my favorite books in the bible!! We had a reading from it for our wedding!