Dear Catholic Families,
My name is Bonnie Landry. We are a Catholic home schooling family with seven children, ages 4-24, living on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. Some of you I know well, some of you I have met personally, and some of you are people I have met via my blog, Practicing Mammal, www.practicingmammal.blogspot.com and some of you are friends of friends. Some of you are even families of friends of my college age kids! I hope you don’t mind this mild invasion of your time. This is a very preliminary inquiry to see if there is enough interest generated in to make the following invitation a worthwhile venture.
Bring your toothbrush. Bring your guitar.
Bring your family. Bring your earplugs.
Flying Inns is a network of Catholic families, living out the fullness of their vocation. In a spirit of generosity and hospitality, families across North America open up their homes to traveling families for the purpose of fellowship and inexpensive travel.
I am hoping to start this organization/forum for faithful Catholic home schooling families to travel, host, visit other families around North America. To keep this idea simple, I believe it should start off as a “word of mouth” grassroots movement. I am collecting names of people who I have met, or who are friends of friends who would like to be part of a network across North America of families who are willing to host other Catholic home schooling families.
While this list will not remain exclusive to families that are home schooling, that is where I feel I need to start as we are dealing with different flexibility than families with children in school. That said, older couples, newlyweds, single faithful Catholics or families with children in school could participate if they are interested. The main “requirement” is faithfulness to Holy Mother Church.
As opposed to an “exchange” network, I envision this being, in the spirit of generosity and hospitality, a means of offering what we have for the opportunity of fellowship.
This is what I am proposing:
Families put their name in a pool, giving the area in which they live.
Families are under no obligation. They can host as much or as little as they wish throughout a year. Cancelling a potential guest or guests, however, should only happen under dire circumstances.
Some basic information is given in a host/guest profile, such as:
- A family profile or biography.
- How many people they are able to host, in beds or on the floor. Or tent space for that matter.
- Whether the host family would provide bedding, or whether the travellers would provide their own.
- Willingness to host families, or also students or young “home school grads” who are wanting to travel.
- Contact information that would be contained within the website.
- Where and when families or individuals would like to travel.
A three day stay limit would be determined. That stay could be extended, completely at the discretion of the host.
Normally, meals would be provided. However, there may be situations where the two parties work out something else, such as a young couple who would like to be involved, and have the floor space for several, but providing meals for a family of nine or ten might be prohibitive!
Or, travelers may have days that they would be out sight seeing, and only needs sleeping space some of the time they are visiting. Singles may want to request help with transportation (ie being picked up from a bus or train). These individual needs will be worked out by the parties involved. It would be my ideal that on a website, there would be a list of questions for the hosts and guests to ask each other to better determine how the stay will play out.
Any families that show interest will not be published in any form until a more concrete system has been established. I will contact people with a profile to fill out before any kind of publishing of names. At this point, I would like to see if there is a reasonable amount of willing families to establish a pool. If there is, we will establish a website and start some promotion.
This will NOT be a for profit venture; this is a ministry. If any advertising is considered on the website, it would be for covering costs of maintaining this ministry, and it would be advertising relevant to Catholic families.
My prayer for this venture is to create a Catholic network for the beautiful and faithful domestic churches all over North America. To provide hospitality and fellowship, and the opportunity to travel affordably.
Please, if you would be interested in participating as a host, a traveler or both, please email (Bonnie Landry) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments and considerations are welcome.
Blessings, Bonnie Landry