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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tis a Puzzlement: Celebrating Ascension Thursday on Sunday Creates a Dilemma

Here's my dilemma. When my husband and I are at home we go to daily Mass and rarely miss. Last week, however, we left on Wednesday to pick up our new camper at Lerch RV in Milroy, Pa. (Great experience, by the way. If you're in the market we recommend them.) We ended up spending Wednesday night in a little town out in the middle of nowhere not far from the dealer. I didn't even think about Ascension Thursday because our diocese shifts the Holy Day to Sunday. There was, in fact, a Catholic Church about half an hour away, but, I didn't know it at the time.

On Thursday afternoon we traveled to Gettysburg where our square dance camping club was meeting over the weekend. We settled in about supper time and, again, did not think about the holy day.

On Friday, we went to the battlefield visitor center, bought one of the auto tour CDs, and drove around the battlefield. Then we decided to check out where the church was for Sunday Mass.
It was 5:30 when we got there and we hoped to make a visit but the doors were locked so we started back to the car. In the parking lot we met the pastor, an order priest, who was returning from having dinner with his confreres who have a place nearby. (Since he is alone in his parish it is wonderful that his order has a place so close. The life of a lone pastor is lonely indeed according to some priests to whom I've spoken.)

I'm not sure how it came up, but we spoke about Ascension Thursday and I said we celebrated it on Sunday. He replied that he wished the bishops would get on the same track because their diocese keeps the holy day on Thursday.

And now the dilemma: On Sunday we attended morning Mass at this parish where they were celebrating the seventh Sunday of Easter. Driving back to the campsite, Larry and I discussed the fact that we were in a diocese that celebrates Ascension Thursday on Thursday. We missed Mass. We would not be returning home in time to attend Ascension Thursday Mass in our own parish. Sooo.... we missed Mass on Ascension Thursday, a holy day of obligation. For my husband and myself, the feast of the Ascension disappeared in a puff of smoking confusion this year. It just didn't happen.

It makes me say the same think the priest said in words a little less tactful. Why can't the bishops get their act together? And what exactly is gained by eliminating holy days. Don't we have few enough already? Oh...and did we commit a sin by missing attendance on the Feast of the Ascension?


Mary's Child Mariann said...

"Tis a puzzlement..." indeed. We experienced this, too. In our diocese the Holy Day is celebrated on Sunday, but the diocese where we attended graduation had celebrated it on Thursday. I wonder whose idea was this?

Anonymous said...

A similar thing happened to me, and no you did not sin as it was not your fault, and neither did I. It is only a sin if one deliberately misses Mass on Sundays or Holidays.

Lourdesman said...

The Anti-Catholic John-Paulists have you all bewitched, bothered and bewildered. For those of us who hold fast to the Catholic faith of which Our Lady is the Mother there is no confusion. The light of faith shines through the muddiest of Vatican water.

I can give new meaning and purpose to your blogs and indeed to the rest of your Catholic life. Defend your mass. Mine is Roman Catholic but is available only in heaven. Yours is Roman Protestant and is perfectly acceptable to all the swarming forces of the Antichrist here on Planet Sodom. Presumably you know of and possibly believe what God did to the city of Sodom. What then will he do to this Planet Sodom (formerly known as earth)where every government is firmly on the side of Antichrist and legislates for and encourages mortal sin. Next to be legalised will be paedophilia. Just give them time and useless, hell-bound John-Paulists. At the same time there is no holy sacrifice whereby sins may be forgiven.
In about an hour from now here in Paddyland the voting booths for dopes with votes will close. Thanks to these despicable people most of whom would describe themselves as "Catholics", same sex marriage will be legalised here in post-Catholic Ireland which is not something that happened in Sodom as far as we know.
So, get to it now with purpose. Defend your mass. Prove that Montini-Mass the invention of that homosexual "pope" Paul VI is a better mass than Our Lady's Catholic mass which is celebrated in heaven.

Kitty said...

I was confirmed in the Catholic faith 3 years ago, so I'm still "new" ... still learning. I didn't know about holy days of obligation (or I had forgotten since it wasn't stressed in my RCIA classes) until last summer. Since then, I have missed only one.

As to your question, I would confess it.

Btw, I prefer the 4 p.m. Saturday Mass. The Sunday Mass is preached.

Anonymous said...

I never read your blog before, so I was quite stunned to see you mention Milroy, PA- I live two minutes away- and yes , we are a tiny community "in the middle of no where!" May I ask you to please pray for those of us who live in areas with few Catholics? We have one Catholic parish/ church building in the whole county, with our pastor and his associate (from Africa!) covering our parish, AND the next county beside us (which also has only one parish/church building). This involves lots of driving, and few choices for attending Mass, etc. May I ask where you go for the Latin Mass? Thank you!

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Well, welcome to the blog. You live in a beautiful area. Give me the middle of nowhere any day to a big city (or even a small city). We live about 3 hours from Milroy in the Shenandoah Valley. We occasionally attend the TLM at St. John the Baptist in Front Royal, VA. Beautiful church!

Thank you for the suggestion to pray for those who live in areas with few Catholics. I will and I will encourage others to do so as well. We all need support in our faith walk.

May God bless you!