Is missing Mass sinful if I can't afford train fare?

I am a Catholic living in the least Catholic country in Europe, and Catholic churches are few and far between. Is missing Mass a sin if I don’t have the money to get there? I don’t own a car, I’m unemployed, and I don’t know anyone who could give me a ride. I’m nervous, because Thursday is a day of obligation, but if I use what little money I have for the train, then I cannot buy food. Someone suggested that I ride the train without paying, but I don’t feel right about that. Please help!

No, it is not a sin to miss Mass if you cannot afford the money for transportation to Mass. You are also correct that you should not “stowaway” on the train, even for the noble motive of going to Mass.

That said, I urge you to figure out a way to go to Mass. Perhaps you cannot go on this coming holy day of obligation because of financial limitations right now, but not going to Mass should not be considered a permanent solution to your problem. I urge you to contact the pastor of the church where you go to Mass when you are able to do so. Explain to him your problem and ask him if he can put you in touch with a parishioner who can give you rides to Mass.

Please know that God is never outdone in generosity. If you do everything you can to attend Mass, he will in turn care for your needs. God bless.

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