What are *grave reasons* for missing Mass?


I have elderly parents who are housebound. As the eldest daughter I have both family obligations (I am their executrix for one thing, and Mama cannot deal with telephone trees, automated voices, paperwork, etc. as she is an old fashioned houswife who left all that to Daddy and he can no longer handle any of it.) I cannot drive, because I have lost the sight in one eye.

When I visit my parents, I am unable to attend Mass. Father Corapi said that if you are unable to attend Mass – literally unable – it is not a grave sin. However, the Catechism appears to say that this means you have to be ill or the whole city snowed up, or something equally overwhelming.

Is my safest bet just to confess it and let God sort it out?


You are caring for the sick, and you are fulfilling the commandment to honour your father and your mother.

While it’s a good idea to mention your situation to a priest so that he can ask the parishioners to pray for you and render whatever other assistance is possible, it seems as though you are doing just fine, and have nothing at all to worry about with regard to your Mass obligation.

You could also ask for the priest to arrange to have an EMHC drop by to offer Holy Communion to you and your parents, from time to time.


Thank you – its First Friday this week and I will speak to Father before the service. I am blessed to have four younger sisters who are wonderful at helping either with daily obligations or filling in when I can not be there, and I know death comes to us all, but it is very difficult. I am making a Novena to St. Michael this week that he will escort Daddy to Jesus waiting arms when his time comes.

Please pray for us all.


I will - please pray for me, too, since I, too, am coming to the time when my parents will no longer be able to care for themselves - I am the only daughter.


Oh my! I have a friend who was an only son, who had a very hard time when his mother began to fade. (We adopted him into our family as we have no brothers.)

I will certainly pray for you to have the strength to carry your cross. And for your parents too.


Appleby, I’m praying for your situation. Please talk to your priest, and follow his advice.


Thank you – I will do that. Its a big parish and we have only one full time priest so it is not easy to corner him.


Maybe you can email him?




Father uses a typewriter. He is not a computer guy. :slight_smile:


Err… …can’t you visit them after mass? I go to Mass at 7:30 AM


My parents live in a housing development in Syracuse NY – I live in Toronto. You cannot get anywhere from my parents house except by car.



If the problem is an inability to drive, you might check with your parents’ parish to see if anyone is able to drive you to church. Some parishes arrange rides for people who have this problem.


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