Pope Francis decides not to spend summer at Castel Gandolfo | National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis decides not to spend summer at Castel Gandolfo | National Catholic Reporter.

Shhhh…..don’t tell hubby this piece of news! Many years ago, when our kiddies were still young, we bought a cabin to use as a vacation home. With five children, our holiday options were limited. We found out quickly that camping was not our thing. Travel and hotels were not only costly with our crew, but it often left us exhausted. As hubby would say, we were just “taking the show on the road”!

The cabin became our second home. It surrounded us with familiarity while getting away from it all.

In recent years, hubby has pushed to sell the cabin. He believes that having a second home is excessive. (No arguing there….it is a luxury that I don’t take for granted.) I claim that it is now becoming even more valuable as a vacation retreat for our growing family; a place where we can gather for fun in the sun with the clan.

I used to argue that even the pope had a “cabin” for the summer. Granted, Castel Candolfo was a far cry from our get-away. And, the Vatican kept up the expenses basically for the use of one person and his entourage. We were sharing our place with many, making it all the more practical and viable.

Pope Francis continues to impress us with his simple and humble life-style. It thrills my heart to see him refuse the trappings and pomp of previous papacies. But, I am a firm believer in the need for holy leisure. Francis will be curtailing many of his normal duties during the summer months in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. But, we all need time to rejuvenate. We all need time to get away.

Perhaps a few weeks in the brutal heat of a Roman summer might change his mind.