June 26, 2024 at 11:24 a.m.

Going to Mass while away on vacation

Catholic churches are just a Google search away when you are at the beach or on a business trip
Father Thomas Morrette
Father Thomas Morrette

By Father Thomas Morrette | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Going to weekly Sunday Mass, without missing even one Sunday, is fundamental to our Catholic way of life. Those of us who are older remember this practice being drilled into us by our parents, nuns or others who taught us our Catholic faith. For me, this practice was “a rock” when I was a layman. It kept me connected to my faith and a Catholic community, but most importantly, it kept me united to Christ and to his one sacrifice on the cross for our salvation.

There have always been Catholics who picked and chose when they would go to Mass. This is nothing new. “Christmas and Easter” Catholics have always been part of the landscape. However, impetus was added to spotty observance when the almost two-year moratorium in parishes during the COVID pandemic forced people to stay away from church on weekends.  Only a few weeks ago, a parishioner told me that she and her family have still not gotten back to the practice of coming to Mass every weekend. She said: “I watch Mass on TV. I like watching the livestreaming from different parishes. I know I can’t receive the Holy Eucharist because of it but, honestly, Father, it is so much easier this way.” 

Oh well …

Receiving the Holy Eucharist is the most powerful wonder of our Catholic faith! Think of it. The risen Jesus, present in the sacrament, comes into our lives with all the strength of his divinity when we receive Him worthily in Holy Communion. How could we ever minimize our need for him all the time and our need for the help He gives? The Catholic Church knew what was best for God’s people when it made it an “obligation” to attend weekly Mass long ago. As a good mother, she wants her children fed, nourished, strengthened and in constant union with He who brings forgiveness, peace and salvation.

While we’re away on vacation, we should make plans to attend Mass at a local Catholic church in the vicinity we visit. I remember, as a kid, that when my family went on vacation every summer to Atlantic City, my Dad, after he checked in, would ask the desk clerk of the motel where we stayed where  the nearest Catholic Church was located … and he would ask for the times of the Sunday Masses. Back then, the desk clerks usually knew that information without fumbling. They were keenly aware that most Catholics wanted that information while away from home.

Today, in this age of Google, we’re blessed with the ability to get instant information about restaurants, shops, recreational sites and churches in any area of our shrinking world. It’s all a click away. So, next time you plan a vacation or business trip — and you’ll be there over the weekend — hit “Catholic churches near me.” You’ll get plenty of options. Make it a point to get to holy Mass and Communion while you’re away from home. That union will only help increase your rest and needed relaxation.

Father Morrette is pastor at The Catholic Community of Our Lady of Victory in Troy, Our Lady of the Snow Mission in Grafton and Christ Sun of Justice Parish in Troy.


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