Attending church on vacation

This is going to be a simple question but things always seem more complicated when it’s you.
I’ve been invited to spend a weekend with “Jane”, a friend in another state, and I’m going with a co-worker, also friends with Jane. Jane is a Protestant, so probably not aware that Catholics need/want to attend mass on Sundays. She and her husband are planning to take us to a national park on the weekend, leaving early and spending all day on the trip.
I hate to throw a monkey wrench into her plans, but obviously can’t give up mass without a really good reason. I won’t have a car and don’t know where local churches are.
What would you do?


Had this more often, so from personal experience:

-Attending Saturday Evening is ok, and is the same like a Sunday Mass.
-Check out which diocese it is. Maybe the diocesan website has a schedule of where local Masses are.
-Otherwise search for something like “Catholic Seattle” (depending on the place you’ll visit) - just combining “catholic” and the name of the place into a search engine gave me a lot of results in the past. Otherwise also use “Parish Seattle” or “Saint Seattle” could give some results of parish websites with their Mass times-schedule
-I’m willing to help you search a Catholic mass in the neighborhood, somehow I developed a talent to see places and logistical solutions. You can send me a PM with some geographic details and I can help.

-Find out if you can combine a visit to a Mass with your trip to/from your destination, or if you can find a way to get there by bus, train or so ( comes to mind)
-Ask the people you’re visiting if they could take you. If they understand it’s important and whether they are active in their faith or no, they might be willing to bring you (maybe on their road to groceries-shopping for your visit so they can shop whilst you are in Mass)
-Anyway, explain your dilemma to the hosts - God knows they are more willing to accomodate than you think.
-Maybe a nice thing to find a beautiful church or a nice city/town, where you can attend Mass and your friends can see the church or its surroundings.

-Once you know you did your best to find a solution but have no way of attending Mass:
-Think again (seriously) if you really want to go to the trip. Probably yes, but I don’t know.
-One of my reasons to still go, would be that I would offend a host too much by cancelling and that it carries some witness to be close to these people. But I would always say during my visit “Normally I’d go to Mass on a Sunday” so they know your actual priorities on the Lord’s Day.
-If it’d just be for my own enjoyment, I’d stay home or come later after I visited my Mass.

If you can’t go to Mass and have decided to go the visit:
-Make sure you take a prayer book with you and the readings for that Sunday
-Check out, and take with you, some prayers/ a rite for ‘Spiritual Communion’. I know there are prayers expressing your desire to attend but also your inability to go, and to offer that up to the Lord as a suffering.
-Talk with a priest afterward (or if possible beforehand)
-Go to a weekday Mass the week before or the week after the visit.

The website will be able to tell you where and when Mass is being celebrated.

Once you locate a parish, you can ask your friend if they could take you.

Great suggestions, just wanted to add that retreat houses are usually out of the way and you can sometimes attend Mass at convents or monasteries.

Let your traveling companions know in advance that you have an obligation and must attend Mass, either Saturday Vigil or Sunday. Usually, even non believers will jump in and try to help you solve the problem so that you can still attend with them. This has always been my experience. let them know that you won’t be able to accompany them unless you can find a way to solve this dilemma. FYI, I have never missed out on an adventure and I have never missed Mass either! :smiley:

Thanks for the suggestions.
I’ve already bought the plane tickets as it’s several hours away, so can’t get out of going.
But will check out masstimes, and have also mentioned my obligation to my hosts. We’ll see what they say,
Thanks again.


Check out this link

Personally, I generally try to go to mass when traveling. Much to the chagrin of others. like when we were on a weekend ski trip that was 14h drive away from home and no Saturday night mass. No one wanted to miss any skiing time for the 2 days there. However, I was able to locate a Sunday evening Mass 5h away that we would be able to make on the way back. It can be rather interesting to go to masses in other churches. Pray and ask God for direction. You have to look at the intent of a person I think. Not just external actions. That is why there is a traveling dispensation. There are some places i have been like camping way off in the bush where there is no church. And no way to go to mass. The Church is not unreasonable.

There was one time when I was camping and went to mass at the posted time on their website. However, they had started mass a half hour early. Thinking I had showed up on time I found myself walking in halfway through. :smiley: Not much I could do there.

My pastor and every other priest I have spoken to say that you do not have to attend Mass when you go on a camping trip 40+ miles from a church if you only do so occasionally. Usually the only thing they say is to have fun and enjoy seeing God in nature. Check with your pastor for advice on this issue and check out the archdiocese (my diocese does not have a good website, but our archdiocese has all the information our website lacks) website for church near where you are and Mass times. Depending on the National Park you are visiting, you may be hours from a Church and this is usually considered a vaild reason to miss Mass, or at least that’s what my priest says.


church and I are a package deal. My family knows it, my friends know it, my work colleagues know it.

There is never any question as to whether or not I will be attending Mass. Friends and family make a car available to me, take me and drop me off, or I rent a car or take a cab or bus.

My husband and I are on vacation right now, and we went to a 6 a.m. mass on Sunday before our day of sight seeing.

We don’t often discuss religion at work, so most of my colleagues may not know it.
However I emailed my friend and she says there’s a Catholic church nearby and we can all go. Yay,


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