Mass obligation, going on holiday tour


i know we are obligated to go mass every sunday/saturday night, but what about this situation:
i’m interested in doing a particualr overseas holiday tour, as set out in the brochure. what if it turns out that there are no accessible churches during the holiday for the weekly sunday/saturday(s), either becuase there are none in the area or i return to late in the hotel (every day i’ll be touring). can i still book the holiday or not?

i certainly have every intention of going to mass if there are catholic masses i can get to on time and safely and within reach.

(catholic Australia)


Your pastor can dispense you from the obligation


On touring holidays, the tour operator often will find a church you can attend, as it’s likely that you won’t be the only Catholic travelling.


As long as you do some spiritual ex cerse for about an hour provide you did your best to find a Church I think you will be fine


Welcome to CAF! :wave:

I recommend asking your pastor about it. We take our Sunday obligation seriously, but if you are travelling and unable to make it to a Church, you cannot be obligated to that which is impossible.


Part of arranging tours is handling any questions and concerns of the customer. I would call the company that is handling the tour and explain the situation. I am sure they will do their best to find Catholic churches for you to attend during your travels. Even if you have to leave the main group to attend Mass the tour guides can arrange transport to and from for you.


Invite a Priest on your holiday. They would probably love it.


This quote from Moral Theology by Fr. Heribert Jone deals with your situation.

    • III. Excuses from assisting at Mass. Any moderately grave reason suffices to excuse one from assistence at Holy Mass, such as considerable hardship or corporal or spiritual harm either to oneself or another.

Therefore, the following are excused: the sick, convalescents, persons who cannot endure the air in church (e.g., certain neurotic persons and sometimes pregnant women in the first or last months of pregnancy); those that have a long way to church, people hindered by the duties of their state (e.g., shepherds, watchmen, policemen on duty, cooks, and those working in mills that may not shut down over Sunday); women or children who would incur the grave displeasure of their husbands or parents by attending Mass; servants whose masters do not permit them to attend Mass (should this happen consistently the servants should seek other employment); those that care for the sick, rescue workers in time of fire or flood; and those who have reason to think that by staying home they can hinder sin; or who would suffer injury to their good name or possessions by going to Church. (Thus: unmarried women who are pregnant, may remain home if by doing so they can avoid disgrace; similarly, those who lack clothing becoming to their social standing; those on a journey; those who would suffer the loss of extraordinary gain by attending Mass). One may miss Mass for the sake of a pleasure trip once or twice if he has no other opportunity during the year, or if it is the last opportunity he will ever have for a certain excursion. (Cf. 60.) Finally, custom in certain localities excuses such as, for example, lying-in women, widows in the first days of their bereavement, engaged persons whose marriage banns are published in the only Mass they can attend.


I have done this, and they are accomadating. You also can speak to your priest about the situation.


Even tho’ you may not be under the obligation, I would still get a dispensation from the priest since it sounds likely to happen more than once. Having a tour operator find you a church is the best way, I think.


well, i have asked my friend priest about it, and he said he would probably take the tour - if he liked that particular tour - and if it turns out that it’s not possible to go to mass, then to make an act of spiritual communion.

so my plan is to pick the holiday i like and can afford , and then go about researching where i can go mass during the tour. if it’s not possible, then it’s not possible. i will ask the tour guides.

the last thing i want to do is pay money and then have to give up a holiday and lose my money in order to avoid perdition. that would be costly for someone who has little savings due to inability to work much.


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