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Summer Vacation

刊登日期: 2013.06.30
作者: Fr. Thomas Au 區耀邦神父  


It has been a wonderful school year for me. Yet, like all teachers, I am glad it is over. I am ready for a break, much more than the students!!! 

Do you know that summer vacation is for teachers, not students? They can’t handle any more time with the students. They need some time to restore their sanity. 

Students, on the other hand, can’t stand summer vacations. They have too much time on their hands and they have to play with their brothers and sisters at home. That’s no fun. 

I remember that I used to go to summer school for different things. During the summer of eighth grade, having to prepare for high school, I went to a place that taught me how to type, with a real typewriter. I don’t think you even know what one looks like now, with keyboarding and a word processor on a computer. I also went to the library at the Hong Kong City Hall. It was the only place that was air-conditioned and didn’t cost any money. It kept me away from my brother and sisters. Later on, when I was in high school I learned to be a life guard from the Hong Kong Life Saving Society. I even became an instructor when I was in 12th grade and spent many days on the beaches at Repulse Bay and Middle Bay. I did anything to stay away from home. Summer is time for learning and growing in skills not offered at school. It is not vacation time to sleep in or play video games. 

One most memorable activity that helped me to become Catholic was joining my Catholic friends attending summer camps. One of them was actually a volunteer project working with, in the late 1960’s, refugee children. It helped me to be of service to others. It exposed me to prayer and singing religious songs. It surely opened my eyes to how Catholics can have fun without getting into mischief. 

Since I have been a priest and I work with school children, I try to encourage them to have some regular schedule in their day to read and to pray besides having swim lessons and playing ball. Some students do not open a book to read or do math problems and by the time school starts again they have forgotten how to study. Others, particularly those who are Catholics, have not taken the time to pray or go to Confession all summer. It was convenient when they were in school, but not in the summer. The opposite is actually true. You can have time to read books on saints, watch videos that are inspiring, take time to go to church during the week, say the rosary during the day and so on. 

Let me make this suggestion. Make a table like the one below. Fill in the topics as you like. 

Keep track of all that you do. You will be surprised how much can be accomplished by the end of summer. 


Title of book 

Pages read 

Rosary and prayers 

Visit Jesus in the Church 


Did some volunteer work 


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