I am a Registered Nurse in an acute care hospital setting. Health care operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I am required to work every other weekend, and every other holiday. (just as all other employees who are employed by this company) I am in a dayshift position currently. Many times on weekends, there is extreme short staffing. It puts staff and patients into a dangerous situation. My hospital does NOT mandate that staff stay to cover unfilled shifts. However, it is the norm in many places to stay to work the next shift. If I do this on Saturdays, I am then not able to attend Mass either Saturday evening OR Sunday morning, because I will be at work. There are no Sunday eve Masses in the county. Is it allowed for me to stay and help patients and co-workers, or do I say no, and attend Mass Saturday evening? It is a RARE thing for nurses here to get breaks for more than a bathroom break or to eat while doing paperwork. So, taking a break to attend Mass is not possible.
Also… With working my Sundays and only being able to attend Mass on Saturdays has its own set of problems for me. I get out of work at 4:30pm. My parish does not have a later Mass time than that. It is a half hour commute home for me. I can not make it in time. There IS one parish that has a 6pm Mass. However, it is not in the city in which I work OR live. This does create a hardship for me, for how much time it takes for me to get to this parish and of course, the use in gas. It is an extra 20 miles each way. Is it permissible for me to not attend Mass on my weekends that I work?