On Sunday afternoon, we drove up into the Sierra Nevadas and dropped off Sons #1 and #2 at Church Camp.
This particular camp is not the one sponsored by our diocese. Last year, we sent Son #1 to that camp, and we pressed him for details when he got home. We wanted to know, what types of things did he do? How much “churchy stuff” did they do?
Turns out that apart from a single mass on Sunday, the diocesan camp offered very little in terms of a Catholic camp experience.
We discovered that there is a parish in the diocese that is staffed by priests from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), the non-schismatic Traditionalist order that emphasizes mass in the Extraordinary Form. This parish offers its own Church camp, and fortunately they accepted our boys this year (with a letter of recommendation from our pastor).
Unlike the diocesan camp, this one is limited to boys ranging in age from First Communion to high school. Camp counselors include FSSP seminarians and priests. Parents were invited to attend mass in the Extraordinary Form in the camp chapel, which was preceded by recitation of the Rosary kneeling on the hard wood floor.
We’re happy that there will be an authentic religious education component to this camp experience. The other boys (and families) were very respectful and polite, even down to being dressed in a way that was suitable for Mass. The boys will compete on teams dedicated to particular saints and will have various challenges during their week.
I am afraid that the FSSP and Mass in the Extraordinary Form will convert them, so please pray for the status quo this week.