Persons who live in the world should… remember to read spiritual books, especially the Lives of the Saints. —St. Philip Neri
Drink, Pray, Love: Studying and Drinking With The Saints
A Great Idea
You can use Michael P. Foley’s Drinking With The Saints: The Sinner’s Guide to a Holy Happy Hour to increase your knowledge of the Communion of Saints and of the Church calendar as you enjoy Catholic fellowship with other adults and savor an appropriate beverage! The “Drink Pray Love” program can be incorporated into a preexisting book group, catechetical course, Catholic Couples’ Night, or lay ministry; or it can be launched as a special event or event series.
“Drink Pray Love” is the inspiration of Raymond and Stephanie Curtice, who came up with the idea for the Family, Faith, and Fun ministry at their local parish in Waco, Texas. The FFF ministry has a summer book group each year, and in 2015 Drinking With The Saints was chosen as their summer read. Raymond and Stephanie teamed up with author Mike Foley to help design the format, assist at some of the meetings, and prepare special drinks for the occasion. (He also signed copies of the book.)
“Drink Pray Love” is free and can be used by anyone. There is no licensing fee or anything like that. We only ask in return that when you meet, your group prays for the welfare and intentions of the Foley and Curtice families. Your only expenses will be the ones you incur buying the book and the refreshments.
The great thing about “Drink Pray Love” is that it can easily be adapted to meet your needs.
Do you want to have a single meeting for a special occasion, or do you want a series of get-togethers? “Drink Pray Love” works as a single event or as a series that can range from a few meetings to an entire year.
Do you want a short meeting that lasts less than an hour, or a leisurely evening that lasts for two or three? “Drink Pray Love” allows you to adjust the number of passages you read from Drinking With the Saints to meet your timetable.
Are you planning for a large gathering or a small group? “Drink Pray Love” works fine either way, as large assemblies can be broken into smaller discussion groups.
Do you want the location to be the parish hall? your home? a cool new bar or restaurant? “Drink Pray Love” works well in a wide variety of settings.
The secret to the flexibility of “Drink Pray Love” is its format:
- The event coordinator gives a brief introduction to “Drink Pray Love” and an opening prayer (see Suggested Opening Prayer below). If a special drink for a saint is to be shared, it can be served—and explained—at this time, along with snacks. (It is always good to serve snacks when you serve strong drink.)
- A passage is read aloud from Drinking With The Saints about a particular saint. Usually, it will be about the saint of the day or a saint whose feast occurs that week, but it can also be the patron saint of your parish, guild, etc.
- The group then discusses the study questions (see Specific Questions and General Questions below). If there is time, additional passages from Drinking With The Saints can be read and discussed in the same manner.
- Note: Depending on the size of your group, you can break into smaller groups for numbers two and three. If you have breakout sessions, you can then have the smaller groups reconvene at the end and report on their conversation.
- The evening concludes with a closing prayer (see Suggested Closing Prayer) and any announcements about the time and readings for the next meeting.
- Participants of “Drink Pray Love” can either come to each session having read a certain section of Drinking With The Saints beforehand (usually, one or two weeks of saints’ days, including the current week). Or, they can come to the first session to collect their book and not be responsible for the reading. There are advantages to either approach. Reading beforehand makes the participants better prepared, but not requiring a section to be read accommodates participants with exceptionally busy schedules.
- Participants of “Drink Pray Love” can either buy a copy of Drinking With The Saints on their own, or they can pay a registration fee, set by the local organizers, that will cover the cost of a book, snacks, drinks, and other incidental expenses. The 2015 FFF summer study mentioned above, for example, cost $25 per couple and included one copy of DWTS, light snacks, and one cocktail for each person. That was probably as low a fee as one could expect: organizers in other areas with a higher cost of living may need to charge more.
- For added fun, Drinking With The Saints gift items—bartender’s aprons, coasters, mixing/measuring glasses, even cufflinks—can be given away as door prizes or as rewards for answering Jeopardy-style questions about the saints. DWTS gift items can be purchased here.
- And depending on his schedule, perhaps you can invite the author! Mike Foley may be available for signing copies and for talking about “Drink Pray Love.” You can contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org
Suggested Opening Prayer
The following prayer, adapted from various traditional blessings of beer and wine in the Roman Ritual, can be used to open the meeting:
Let us pray.
O God, You who created beer out of loving kindness and wine to cheer the heart of man, grant that our use of these beverages and others like them may only increase the health of our bodies and souls. Deign to bless the drinks that we will have tonight; may whoever partakes of them receive spiritual gladness and everlasting life. And deign to send Your Holy Spirit upon this gathering, that all who are here may gain insight into the lives of Your Saints and strength to follow their holy example. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
One way to generate discussion about Drinking With The Saints is to raise questions about each saint’s biography. Below is a sampling of questions for some of the saints featured in DWTS. Event coordinators of “Drink Pray Love” are encouraged to think of additional questions to meet the needs of their group.
Think and Reflect (Pages 150 – 179)
- Junipero Serra: Saints are sometimes put on a pedestal that makes us feel as if we can never attain the same level of holiness. St. Junipero Serra is a controversial figure today. (If people are unfamiliar with why he is controversial, have someone in the group look it up on their phone. The Wikipedia page about him under “Relationships with Native Californians” summarizes why some think of him as controversial.) How should we look at saints, with all their personal flaws? Does holiness mean infallibility? What does that mean for us?
- Maria Goretti: What are some ways that we can use St. Maria Goretti’s example in our own lives today, especially in light of the world in which we now live? How can we cultivate modesty and purity in ourselves and in our children?
- John Fisher and Thomas More: Discuss how Christians are persecuted in the world today. How do you think the current political climate, especially in the United States, will effect the persecution of Christians? How can we emulate the lives of these two saints in the midst of growing persecution?
- Bonaventure: How can we use Bonaventure’s example of humility in our own lives? What does this teach us about our interactions with family members, co-workers or friends?
- Henry: How do we use those moments in our lives that challenge us, like a dream, to grow closer to Christ? If it hasn’t happened yet, why not? What should we do differently?
- Sharbel Makhluf: What do you know about the Eastern Rite churches? Have you attended any Masses (aka “Divine Liturgies”) in an Eastern Rite? On a different topic, why do you think some saints are incorrupt?
- Christopher: Do saints’ lives that are possibly based on “old wives tales” still have something to teach us? What did St. Christopher life’s teach you?
You can use the following General Questions instead of, or in addition to, the Specific Questions about each saint.
Relate 1. Which saint’s story did you most easily relate to? Why?
Emulate 2. Which saint’s story inspired you the most to change? Why?
Challenge 3. Which saint’s story made you feel you had needed the most
Deepen 4. Which saint’s story would you like to know more about?
Unexpected 5. Which saint’s story puzzled or startled you? Why?
Fun 6. Which drink interests you the most?
Suggested Closing Prayer:
The following prayer, adapted from the ancient Gallican Preface of All Saints’ Day, can be used to close the meeting.
Let us pray.
O God, You are glorified in the assembly of the Saints, and when You crown their merits, You crown Your own gifts. Grant us role models to imitate by our familiarity with them, partnership by communion with them, and aid by intercession from them: that having been enriched by such a great cloud of witnesses, we might persevere and run the contest that is set before us, and together with them attain an unfading crown of glory. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Always Drink Responsibly. Or in the words of the Archbishop of Vaison, France in 1633, Drink Soberly.
Download your pdf copy of Drink Pray Love here: Drink Pray Love Program