Mass and the frustrations of a traveller


I’ve been in different towns and dioceses lately and trying to find the times for Mass is almost impossible unless you go right up to the churches (if you’re not just travelling through) and even then there’s no guarantee the Mass times will be indicated. It’s impossible to plan anything.

I can go to my own diocese’s web site and see Mass times for all parishes. I can also see them in the local paper.

There’s Mass times on the website of the diocese I’m in now, but they’re mostly wrong. The local paper has nothing about the Catholic parishes but all the service times for the various Protestant parishes. It’s very frustrating.

In the diocese I’ll be in tomorrow there are no Mass times at all on the diocesan website and none of the parishes have websites, not even the Cathedral parish. When I was travelling through that diocese a few weeks ago I had to keep watching for a church where people seemed to be arriving, rather than leaving.


I have had usually had better luck when traveling than you have Phemie. But I will just add that if you find the phone number for a parish and call, the times listed on the parish phone system are often wrong too. :frowning:

I know a good number of parishes now have Facebook pages. I wonder if Mass times listed on Facebook are more or less likely to be accurate? Of course you would have to know that the parish exists before you could look to see it it’s on Facebook.


Here is a handy website to use to find out Mass times when traveling:

There are several ways to find out what Catholic Church is in a town or city, what time Mass is celebrated, and how to get to get to the church.


Have you tried

I enjoy visiting different churches when I travel. I usually look them up on the internet by searching for the city or town I plan to visit along with “Catholic Church.” Once I get to the city or town, I like to find the church and confirm the times for Mass.

Good luck! :slight_smile:


I checked that website out and my parish isn’t even listed. :shrug: And it’s not small.

#6 must have updated their website. I had stopped using them about five years ago because the times were always wrong and more often than not the site would crash while loading.

But I just checked it, it loaded, and my parish was listed with the latest info.


I hear you. Staying with friends in DC. Just walked .6 of a mile to a Parish for the scheduled confession time on their website. The usher tried to locate the Priest for me with no success. Usher said, “Father has some Priest friends in town.” :rolleyes:


I want to ask a question that is going to sounds tongue-in-cheek but it isn’t:

How did we find Mass times before the Internet?


I likewise checked for my parish, which happens to be changing the time as of tomorrow morning’s Mass (due to our pastor having been given another parish approximately a half hour drive away, effective this month), and the new time is on the site for both parishes.


Being French-Canadian I tend to be more of a spirit of the law type of guy. Last month I spent 12 days in Scotland. I was on the Isle of Skye. There are two Catholic parishes there, in Broadford and Portree. Both served by the same priest, so one Mass is Sat. evening and the other Sun. morning. Only 30 or so miles from where we were staying, but an hour on narrow roads and many of them single track as well. Add the challenge of driving on the opposite side of the road in a manual- shift car… Well to sum it up we stayed near our holiday rental and hiked. By the second week I had the driving down pat but by then we faced a 6 hour drive to get back to Edinburgh on the last Sunday, to catch our flight home very early the next day.

So I missed Mass and my “prudential judgement” justified it. I otherwise only miss Mass when ill or during severe winter storms; I live in a very rural area on a dirt road that is far from the first to get ploughed in a snowstorm.


i have used and they are wonderful, but their mileages are as the crow flies, so that can mess someone up if they are in a mountainous or coastal area :slight_smile:

However, I have found that many parishes list their Mass schedule in the phone book (y’all may remember these… :wink: ) So I generally check out the phone book and then call the parish to make sure of their schedule. (I have more than once arrived as everyone else was leaving :o when I neglected to call). ETA: almost every parish has their schedule on their answering machine.

Another way to find out would be if you know you will be in Town X on Sunday, just search on a *map *search engine for Catholic Church in that area, and call them up :slight_smile:

The only thing I haven’t quite gotten down is when one is actually on the road at the time of Mass… but I’m working on that! B&N and may end up working for me on a computer–too tricky on an iPod.


If you are staying in a hotel or motel, the front desk often has a list of churches and mass times.


Phemie, Have you been able to enter some of the churches and see if there are any Sunday bulletins, where Mass times would be listed?


I can remember my parents checking phone books and doing other kinds of research. Back in the day almost all hotels, motels, and campgrounds would have information on local churches. Lots of them still do but it doesn’t seem to be nearly the priority it once was because not as many tourists seem to care. Back then parishes (or anyplace else for that matter) didn’t have phone systems. If you called you would either get no answer or a live person would answer the phone and tell you what time to show up for Mass.

When phone answering systems became popular back in the 1980s it was common for parishes to put the times on their phone systems. But lots of vacation spots vary their Mass times by the seasons and parishes were notorious for not updating the times. More than once I found out that what was on the phone system was out of date. :mad: On at least one occasion I called a parish, did what was necessary to reach a live person, and requested the Mass times. The person who answered the phone was annoyed that I wanted verification of the times. :shrug:


Reminds me…FATA online has a lot of church bulletins in electronic format.


I share your frustration.

I just used to look for parishes in my town, and none of the three parishes (seven churches in total) appear to be in their database. The fact that I’m in France might have something to do with it, as I find Masstimes to be much better (though far from reliable in all circumstances) with info for North America. There is something similar in France, Égliseinfo, but I’ve never known it to be correct. Perhaps I have just been unlucky. Looking up my own church just now, however, I find the map showing it to be half a mile from where it’s actually located, the Web site address **and **contact phone number are wrong, and the site declares there are no Masses scheduled today—Sunday—when in fact there is one, which I will serve in four hours. :shrug:

That said, we are diligent about posting all Mass times (Sunday and weekday Mass) inside and outside the church and changing the info whenever the schedule changes. Our phone system is not automated—when you call you either get the answering machine (no Mass info on the machine’s greeting) or a live person—so keeping the info up to date on the church itself is really the best way we can handle this.

I remember Masstimes being a phone number in the pre-Internet era, though I can’t recall if the number was toll-free or not. The automated system would ask for some information and then give the caller info in return based upon what input it had received.

Ah, memories of that robotic, completely monotone male voice saying, “Thank you for calling Mass Times. God bless.” :smiley:

Prior to this, I have no idea. When I was a child in the 70s, my family never went anywhere so we didn’t need to find Mass times in unfamiliar areas.


I almost always click on the parish’s provided website, or search Google for it, before banking on something on a third party website.

We stayed at a parish shortly NE of Atlanta, and this hotel didn’t. However, it DID when I left. :slight_smile: I looked them up on their lobby computer, and gave them a second print out.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that only lists the information that it is provided by either the parishes themselves, or by dioceses, so if it’s inaccurate or missing info, that wouldn’t necessarily be on them.


You could usually ask the local Catholics. I used to know the Mass times for all four neighbouring parishes. Now you’re lucky to find a Catholic who goes to Church, let alone one who’s familiar with the neighbouring parishes.


It was tough. And not knowing where the churches were and how much time to allow to get there made it even tougher. Once I found the most convenient one to be an Italian Mass within walking distance of the motel.

I usually planned my trips away from Sundays. The real problems came when I had to travel around Holy Days as Mass times on Holy Days usually follow an irregular schedule.


Phemie - I don’t know if you’re interested in the EF or not, but I have found the FSSP website to be up to date on its Mass/Confession times:
All of the dioceses they support are listed on this page.

The ICKSP (or ICRSS) also has all of their apostolates listed on their homepage on the right of the page. If you click on one of them, it will lead you to the individual parish website with Mass Times.

Here is another website that has approved Latin Mass times listed, though I can’t verify if it’s up to date or not:

This website has both approved and non-approved Latin Mass times listed, and once again, I cannot verify if the times are accurate:

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