Ice storm and Mass


so, i am in RCIA and am aware that Sunday Mass is a day of obligation but the ice storm has begun in the Ozarks and is expected to be bad for the next few days. What happens in this situation? if i lived in town i would do my best to make it but i am 40 miles from town…:frowning:


No one, least of all Jesus, would expect you to endanger your life just attend Mass.
RC is not a fundamentalist religion but one of compassion. Instead you can say a Rosary or read the Biblical readings for that Sunday.


Church law never obliges people to do the impossible. If – in your best estimation given the facts you have – it is not safe to travel to Mass, then it would be permissible to miss. You can always ask your priest if you want further assurance, though.

My parents have had to do the same thing on occasion. Their retirement home is somewhat remote and their driveway is one huge incline (with a ditch on either side). If it ices over, there’s simply no leaving the house.


As others have said, if travel is dangerous, your obligation is lifted. Please do call your parish and let them know if you will not be able to make Mass or your RCIA meeting. Not because of any sin, but just so they know you are safe! And please do stay safe during the storm, it sounds like a doozey!


I am also in the Ozarks, and currently at this hour have about 1/3" of ice on my deck, expecting 5+ inches of snow later today, tonight and tomorrow. I normally serve at the Saturday Vigil Mass. I would have to drive up and down quite a few hills to get to town – only 10 miles away, but definitely dangerous in these conditions. Our organist, choir and Music Director have already called our Priest to tell him they will not come if this storm continues as bad as forecast. He was asked to activate our “weather alert” phone chain of the Parish and to cancel the Mass. His response: well, I won’t drive in it, so why would anyone else?" However, we have about a dozen people, all elderly, who WILL try to drive if the Mass is not officially cancelled, and then find out the Priest isn’t there either! We have warned as many as possible (unofficially) that it is not going to be a sin to miss Mass this weekend if the roads remain bad. Hopefully once it gets worse, our Priest will smarten up and cancel, so no one gets hurt trying to get there. (He’s new to the area).
We are also expecting another ice storm to the Northern Ozarks on Sunday!
If you are outside town, don’t risk your life, this is not required under dangerous weather conditions!


If you are able to view the televised Mass, do so. Also, read the scriptures for the day and pray a rosary. God would not want you to endanger your life in a winter storm. When you have a chance, you can also bring this event to confession if it would relieve any feelings of guilt for having missed Mass. God bless.


Sounds like you might be in my parish…


You aren’t obliged to go.

My grandma lives three blocks from Church and she once drove there in the winter, saw how icy it was out and drove back home.


As others noted, you are not to endanger yourself to attend Mass. Here in Florida they have a bulletin announcement they post every year before hurricane season that reminds parishioners that they should not try to attend Mass if weather is dangerous, and that Mass is cancelled when a hurricane is approaching/imminent.


thanks everyone for your answers


As you are in RCIA you don’t have an obligation anyway but even if you were Catholic already you have no obligation to attend if you cannot do so safely.


don’t put your life at risk just to make it to Mass. God understands and wouldn’t want you to put your life at risk to make it to Mass. Weather is a legitimate reason to miss mass.

What I would suggest read the readings of the Mass that day and spend some time to meditate over them and pray to God about them.

Now if you make the judgement the roads could be clear enough for me to make it go but if weather is horrible or weather could get horrible before you get to mass don’t go.


i consider myself to be under the same obligations as a confirmed catholic,:), after all if i cant follow the commands of our Lord now…
plus, i have already been through the RCIA process with our retired priest but our new priest feels it best for me to go through the program for a second time and be confirmed with the rest of the candidates (been working through annullment process…still)


Sorry but I’m confused (but not about missing Mass due to bad roads).

You emphasise confirmed Catholic. Are you a non-Christian, a baptised Protestant, or a baptised Catholic but yet to be confirmed?
The reason I ask is as soon as you are baptised Catholic you are Catholic and may receive Communion even before being confirmed.



i am a candidate (baptised non-catholic) awaiting confirmation but i consider myself already Catholic because i could have already been confirmed last year if complicated annullment process had been completed. therefore i see myself just as obligated as a Catholic.:wink:
does that make sense???


I thought a Baptized person (Catholic or Protestant) needed only to do the Profession of Faith to be considered Catholic. The Annulment should not interfere with becoming Catholic, so far as I know. However, not being instructed in the Faith, RCIA is also required. If you have been through RCIA previously, I don’t understand why you have to wait for the Annulment to be completed prior to making the Profession of Faith to become Catholic??? Is it your Priest’s decision that you should wait until the Annulment is completed?? And do the RCIA again? Being Confirmed does not “make” you Catholic, doing the Profession in the Service with the Priest makes you officially Catholic. Whythe delay?? I was both Baptized and received First Communion when I was nine years old, was in Catholic School and was instructed. It was many years later that I received Confirmation (actually over 30 years, as the records could not be found, so the Church assumed I’d never been Confirmed, so I was confirmed at age 48!) I went to Mass and Communion, Confession and served at the Masses during most of those years.

Anyone else on this Thread know of a reason that a Baptized Person must wait for an Annulment prior to making the Profession and receiving Confirmation???
Comments, please?


You are correct that waiting for a ruling of nullity, in and of itself, would generally not prevent someone from making a Profession of Faith and entering the Church. What can prevent someone from entering the Church is the invalid status of a current civil marriage. The the current civil marriage cannot be regularized as long as the previous marriage is considered valid.

(I have no idea if that is the previous poster’s situation .)


Yes, the cold and my 12" of snow outside, obviously slowed my brain down! I realized this was the reason for awaiting the Nullity about 20 minutes after I wrote that! Sorry, I’m a bit slow tonight~~!!!


All our weekend Masses have been cancelled. In town, where the Priest and the Church are located has about 7 - 8" of snow, and the Priest can’t get his car up the steep hill to leave the Rectory. In fact, he nearly fell trying to go the 50 feet from the Rectory to the old Church. He is also responsible for a Parish 2 miles away – up a LONG hill, and for another Parish in the next town, 10 miles away, with a small mountain with a very long winding road downhill to get to the lower area where that Parish is located. He said he wouldn’t drive in this mess, and asked all the Parishioners at all three locations to spend Sunday (or a good part of it) reading the Scriptures for the day (which are in last week’s bulletin) and to pray for a couple of hours in place of Mass. (He also passed the word that Confession for missing Mass would not be necessary, as it is too dangerous to drive on the roads.) I live 10 miles in the opposite direction, and have 12" of snow in my driveway and on my street! Obviously not a sin to miss Sunday Mass or the Vigil Mass under these conditions, but in case of those who may be scrupulous (only the Priest knows who they may be), he passed the word by the phone chain that Confession for missing Mass will not be necessary, since he can’t get there either. (we also have 1/4" or so of ice under the snow, so even if plowed, the ice is still there - very dangerous.) Haven’t seen but one vehicle in my area, and he lives down the street and had to go get his tow truck to help out some people who did try to drive in this mess! God bless us all! It looks beautiful outside, but the current temp is 7 degrees, going down to 2 degrees with a wind chill of -10 degrees tonight! Sat. night will be “0” with wind chill in the minus teens! Nice to sit in the house and look at the beautiful snow, but sure won’t try to drive in it!:snowing: :winter:


Praying for all of you who are innudated with all the snow. Be safe, take care, stay warm. Praying for all the homeless in this weather. God bless.

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