I will be moving with my family out of state, from one side of the country to the other, and we will be driving to our destination, which, depending on the number of hours we drive, speed, traffic, and other variables, will take us about 3.5 days or so.
We're leaving on Thursday, and so our on-the-road traveling will overlap with the weekend. I have every intention of getting to Mass; what I can't guarantee is that my dad (fallen away Catholic) will accomodate it, as he, though having started attending Mass again a few months ago has not been observing his Mass obligation the last few weeks. We are moving in his truck, he and I will alternate driving, and we will have a GPS with us. I know he doesn't want any hold-ups apart from stopping for gas, eating, and sleeping. I haven't asked him yet if we can go to Mass on Saturday or Sunday at the Catholic Church that happens to be the nearest to us. I've decided to ask him once I'm driving ...
Some at my parish were trying to reassure me that I needn't worry because I will already be dispensed due to traveling, but I was doubtful, and so "googled" it and found two conflicting EWTN Q & A s:
Q: Is there such a thing as a travel dispensation? I was told if you could not make it to Mass due to traveling it was ok. A couple years ago I missed Mass one weekend due to travel and I went to confession, the priest absolved me of the sin and never mentioned a travel dispensation. Please clarify.
A: Yes, necessary travel is a legitimate absence from attending the Eucharist on holydays of obligation. Fr. Bob Levis (source)
Q: My parents swear that the Church teaches if one is traveling on Sunday or is on vacation that they do not have to attend mass. I ask this because we traveled on a Sunday for 7 hours and were unable to attend mass that Sunday morning due to snow, but were able to attend an evening service when we arrived home. I went but they did not citing a travel dispensation. Is there such a thing and what conditions need to be met for it to apply.
A: There is no such thing as a travel dispensation. Mass attendance is required Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. (source)
Now to the point. I'd like to receive a pastoral dispensation from Mass, *in the event *that I am unable to make it (believe me, I want to go to Mass).
However, I need some clarifaction on the canons concerning pastoral dispensations. Namely, nos. 89-92
Can. 89 A pastor and other presbyters or deacons are not able to dispense from universal and particular law unless this power has been expressly granted to them.
Can. 90 §1. One is not to be dispensed from an ecclesiastical law without a just and reasonable cause, after taking into account the circumstances of the case and the gravity of the law from which dispensation is given; otherwise the dispensation is illicit and, unless it is given by the legislator himself or his superior, also invalid.
§2. In a case of doubt concerning the sufficiency of the cause, a dispensation is granted validly and licitly.
Can. 91 Even when outside his territory, one who possesses the power to dispense is able to exercise it with respect to his subjects even though they are absent from the territory, and, unless the contrary is expressly established, also with respect to travelers actually present in the territory, as well as with respect to himself.
Can. 92 A dispensation is subject to a strict interpretation according to the norm of ⇒ can. 36, §1, as is the very power to dispense granted for a particular case.
Also, given Can. 89, is it possible that associate pastors are also able to grant a dispensation from Mass?