For many people, summertime means trips to amusement and theme parks. There’s a lot of camaraderie that’s possible while waiting in lines with strangers or being packed like sardines on the parade routes. So, how can you spread the message of Jesus while being surrounded by strangers in a place full of fun and whimsy? Here are 7 ways!
1. Wear religious t-shirts
Stranger: “What does ‘Raising rambunctious saints’ mean?”
You: “Oh! Well, I want my kids to get to heaven, so I’m trying to raise them to love Jesus and be holy as He is holy.”
Instant conversation starter.
2. Pray an Act of Contrition on the roller coaster
Nothing will make the heads of your fellow passengers turn quite like saying the Act of Contrition while ascending the first, steep hill. You’ll probably get some weird looks, but the descent will knock the wind out of your neighbors. At the end of the ride, if someone asks, “Were you really that afraid?” or “What were you praying?” you can dazzle them with tales of the mercy of God!
3. Ask for your patron saint’s or guardian angel’s intercession
And remember, although there’s no patron saint of theme parks, St. Barbara is glad to step in (she’s the patroness of fireworks).
4. Pray the Rosary while waiting in exceptionally long lines
Ask the people around you to join in praying or ask them how you can pray for them! If you only get through a couple decades, just pick up where you left off in the next lines (there’s sure to be plenty of them). See if you can make it through all decades in one day!
5. Ask people where they’re from and tell them the nearest basilica
Now this one might take a ton of memorizing on your part (or even a pocket-sized cheat sheet) but this one is good because it gives the people you talk to something to look up or even visit after you all have gone your separate ways.
6. Liken all the meet-able characters to saints
In line to meet Aurora of Sleeping Beauty? Talk about similarities she shares with St. Christina the Astonishing. Is Snow White more your speed? St. Maria Goretti is a saintly example of the virtues Snow displays. Or talk about how Belle of Beauty and the Beast and St. Maximillian Kolbe both displayed self-sacrificial love. Want to throw a little more snark into your day? Make sure to tell Pocahontas that her Disnyfied version is weak sauce compared to the real life of St. Kateri Tekakwitha.
7. Pray for everyone you meet
This is the most important because the best way to evangelize is to ask God to bless the people we encounter and to fill them with His grace. St. James reminds us to “pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16). All things we do are through Him and because of Him, so give Him that space in your life and in the lives of others!