I’m a sucker for a Catholic church. And I haven’t been Catholic in more than 25 years! But wherever I travel, I find myself pushing the old oak doors into the heavy silence. I sit on the hard bench and take in the awe-inspiring art (because Catholics know how to do art right!). And I always, always light a candle for my dearly departed father.

These candles are found at the Mission Basilica at San Juan Capistrano. If you haven’t been to San Juan Capistrano or any of the other 21 missions planted by Father Junipero Serra in the late 1700s/early 1800s, you should go. They’re marvels of history.

And do me a favor if you do. Go sit in the church. Soak up the energy, even if you’re a nonbeliever. Because it’s great energy. And on your way out, light a candle for someone you love.