EWTN Catholic Q&A
Missing Mass
Question from John on 09-10-2012:


I have been told by two priests that its okay for me to miss mass in order to go backpacking in the wilderness. I am part of a club associated with the Appalachian trail and they frequently have backpacking trips that are scheduled on Saturday/Sunday and prevent me from making it to Mass. The reason I joined this club is to be able to carpool with people in order to save money and wear and tear on my car. I do not make a lot of money so driving to and from the mountains once or twice a month is not feasible and several people are dependent on my income. Both of the priests I talked to said that it would be okay because I am not doing it to miss Mass and that I will go to mass as soon as possible. They also told me that folks who hike the entire appalachian trail in six months are also excused from mass. Is this good advice? Thank you!

Answer by Robert J. Flummerfelt, J.C.L. on 09-11-2012:

Hi John,

I respectfully disagree with the two priests you consulted who said this was a legitimate reason to fail to fulfill your Mass obligation on Sunday or for Saturday vigil liturgy. There is no canonical authority for their position.

Peace and blessings, Bob