Saying Mass elsewhere in the world

It has just started a real scirocco downpour so there is no point leaving the Internet Cafe (and it is only 3 euros an hour or something). So a point about priests saying Mass while on holiday.

Some priests nowadays don't say Mass when they are on holiday. I find this difficult to imagine. Being a priest is just that - it is what you are, not something you do from 9 to 5. And the Mass is at the heart of the priesthood. Both John Paul II and Benedict have said this of the daily Mass.

However, when you are on holiday in many places it can be difficult to find somewhere to say Mass. You can find out the daily Mass time at the local parish and go to concelebrate. If I am ever in this position, I always make the offer to say the Mass in case the priest has a funeral later or some other school Mass or something. As a parish priest myself, I know how welcome this might be.

But if the local parish doesn't have weekday Mass or if the liturgical abuses are too much to tolerate, what do you do then? Many priests take a Mass kit and say Mass in their hotel room. This is far from ideal but often a sensible compromise between bad and worse.

Another solution is to go to places in the world where you can say Mass easily. The Domus Romana Sacerdotalis is one such. The downstairs chapel is available for the priests to say Mass any time of the day.

Lourdes is also very hospitable to priests. If you are on holiday there and simply want to say a private Mass, go to the crypt chapel) the one underneath the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and above the Basilica of the Rosary. At any time of the day, the sacristan will set up for Mass for you. If you bring your own missal, he will not bat an eyelid at your saying the old rite. Nor should he, given some of the liturgical abominations that happen at Lourdes. If you have a very small group (not more than three or four people), they could join you.

If any priests know of other places in the world where a Catholic priest who is travelling can easily say a private Mass, please do pass on the information.

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