top of page

The Christophers: A Time for Rest and Rejuvenation

By Tony Rossi,

Director of Communications


The month of June is a time of celebration for students and their families as we mark milestones in educational pursuits. Even those just reaching the end of a long school year amid the journey of college or high school or even grammar school should be honored for their efforts, and we should take time to relax and gather in ways that will rejuvenate and prepare for the next phase of education, work, and life in general.

In Spain, towards the end of the month of June, one can witness the Bonfires of Saint John all along the coast. It’s a tradition that links back to the celebration of the summer solstice, which was then incorporated into the Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. It’s a tradition that has endured for centuries and one that exemplifies the spirit with which we should approach each summer with a determination to come together with family and community to build each other up and strengthen the human spirit for the next leg of life’s journey. And just like the Bonfires of Saint John infused an ancient tradition with the light of Christ, our faith should kindle our respite and inspire our joy.

Allowing the faith to be a spark for our celebrations is not about replacing the good, wholesome fun of gathering with friends and family, but rather about enlivening those gatherings with a spirit of joy. So let’s lean on the beautiful rituals provided within our faith for spiritual sustenance in order to turn to the world around us and carry the light of Christ into all we do.

As we celebrate milestones and take respite together, we have some great models within our faith whose lives we can look to. In an article for U.S. Catholic Magazine, Molly Jo Rose shares a prayer written by Saint Thomas Aquinas that serves as a great way to train our minds away from distractions, which, Rose points out, is amazingly relevant in our age of technological distractions. “Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in the completion,” reads one part of Aquinas’ prayer for God’s guidance in staying focused on the task at hand.

And Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati is a wonderful model for blending respite, leisure, and extracurricular activities into the pursuit of excellence and education. A patron of students and young Catholics, Frassati grew up in northern Italy, where he led hiking trips into the Alps to bring his fellow students together in leisurely respite from their studies. They would often attend Mass together before or after these trips and take time for prayer along their hikes to kindle the fire of the joy of their experiences.

“A Prayer for the Courage to Be Great” invokes the intercession of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and begins with these words, “Heavenly Father, give me the courage to strive for the highest goals, to flee every temptation to be mediocre. Enable me to aspire to greatness, as Pier Giorgio did….”

Let’s pray that our faith kindles our joy and inspires us to greatness as we gather with friends and loved ones during this time of year and throughout our moments of summer rest so that all may be rejuvenated, most especially the students in our lives. Let us take this time to celebrate their accomplishments and offer encouragement for future endeavors so they continue to find the strength to glorify God through the pursuit of their talents.


For free copies of the Christopher News Note APPRECIATE THE BEAUTY AROUND YOU, write: The Christophers, 264 West 40th Street, Room 603, New York, NY 10018; or e-mail:

2 views0 comments


bottom of page