EWTN Catholic Q&A
If a Catholic can't find a Mass...
Question from Joseph on 08-15-2013:

If a Catholic can't find a Mass on a trip, would it be proper to ask a priest on the trip to offer Mass? Also, on a ocean voyage with no Mass, can a deacon offer one?

Answer by Catholic Answers on 08-19-2013:


Sure, a Catholic can invite a priest along on a trip for chaplain services. But only if the Catholic pays the priest's way, not neglecting to include a generous stipend on top of paying for all travel costs and all expenses associated with sacramental services (such as paying the cost for sacramental bread and wine during the trip). One hundred dollars per day of the trip might be an appropriate stipend, but ask the priest if that is appropriate in your area. If this is on a cruise, it would also be appropriate to ask the cruise line for an event room large enough to allow other Catholics on board the opportunity to attend the Mass. (And, no, you cannot charge an admission fee, even to cover your expenses.)

This assumes, of course, that the priest is not a personal friend eager to travel with you to such an extent that he would make the trip anyway whether or not you went, but is in fact being asked to serve as a chaplain for your trip.

As for a deacon, a deacon cannot offer Mass under any circumstances. But he may be able to preside at a liturgy of the word outside of Mass. If so, then the same rule applies for deacon services as for priest services. Unless this is a personal friend eager to travel with you and expecting to pay his own way, then pay all of his travel and chaplain-related expenses, and offer him a generous stipend.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers