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Church on Sunday when camping?

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Yah, in da parent thread, OGE commented:


When on a campout with your troop and its hard to make mass on sunday, do you throw the religious requirements book to be a Catholic out the window?


I'm curious for folks from LDS and Catholic churches (or others where denominational Sunday service has a very particular sense of obligation), how do yeh handle it on campouts? How about high adventure trips?


If you're a parent of an LDS, Catholic, etc. youth in a non-church-sponsored unit, how do you handle these things?


What good advice can folks offer on how to be reverent & respectful without havin' to give up outing days or wilderness high adventure? Is it possible, for you?




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Hi Beava,


Usually we camp in areas where a church isn't too far away- so far. We made it part of our policy when we first set up our troop and pack that Mass would be a part of outings. This came right from our Parish priest- so it was nice and official.


Our COs Brownie troop is currently lead by a non-Catholic Mom and some of the other mom's are fairly cafeteria(Pick and choose) about their faith- so blowing off the Sunday obilgation happens on their overnights except for a few stalwart moms who seek each other out and sneak out Sunday Morning for Mass. This is a fairly awkward situation for the Brownies, and they have considered instituting a policy like ours.


Catholics can meet their Sunday obligations at Saturday evening masses. This is the Mass our unit usually goes to.


Priests are all different on the subject of Sunday Obligation. Our Priest thinks that when his parishioners go on a vacation they should make Mass a part of the planning for that trip. You are never on vacation from God. But extraordinary situations are a part of life. Bad weather, war, disasters, health, are all common reasons why the minimum weekly obligation might not be met.


But scouting should not become a day off from obligations. So I would say to a Catholic troop that is going to be gone for ten days or more to speak with the parish priest. Maybe they can attend Mass the day they leave and the Day they return. Ideally, Catholics ought to go to Mass once a day but this is difficult and not required.


Maybe the scouts can perform a Rosary every day during the outing or other observances to keep them focused on their reverential obligation. Priest are pretty creative in these areas and Im sure something can be worked out. The good rule of thumb is- you cant overdo worship and reverence. Every time a scout breaks bread, wakes up, goes to bed, are great occasions for prayer and reflection. Ecumenism is encouraged by the Church. Spiritual fellowship and sharing of the faith and customs is a good thing and to be encouraged.


OGE can correct any mistakes I may have made. I usually get some of this stuff wrong!



(This message has been edited by Pappy)(This message has been edited by Pappy)

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Just like Councils and Scout executives have a certain amount of local control and authority so do the local Catholic Diocese and Parishes. Scouts and Scouters who are practicing Catholics should discuss this matter with their local pastor as far as fulfillment of their obligations while on Scouting activities.


Ecuminism is supported by the Catholic church but be careful not to confuse it with inter-faith worship. There is a big difference, and one that Catholics should be aware of.


When possible we make it possible for scouts of any faith that want to be able to attend the worship service of their faith to do so when possible. Often times however we were limited by distance or transportation resources to meet these obligations every outing.


In our current program our scouts have no problem attending services before or after our activities.






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Up in my neck of the woods no LDS unit camps over onto Sunday. They wrap/head home on Saturday evening. We take this into account at our district events.


We have one Catholic Church in our district (near the center of the district) that offers a Sunday evening service, so that isn't a problem for our Catholic Scouts (including me).


We also try to wrap up our events early enough on Sunday so most can make it home for late morning services at their various denominations.


Back when I was an SM, I tried my best to accommodate all who wanted to make it to their services or the local equivalent.

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We get them home in time for the last mass on weekend trips. On our longer trips (Thursday - Monday on Block Island) we take them to mass. Make that two groups, one to the Protestant church, the other to the Catholic church. We had one Hindu scout who had his choice to go along to the one of his choice to observe since he had to be somewhere and no one else was back at camp.

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A non-denominational or interfaith worship service does not meet the religious obligations of Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Islamics, and many other faiths.


And while it is nice that many troops and crews do this it is important to know that is is not considered a church service and does not release many practicing faithful from their obligations.


Another reminder while were on the topic a unit cannot make a scout participate in a religios activity that is not of their own religios practice. So for example a troop sponsored by a Catholic Church that has one scout that is not Catholic, cannot require the non-Catholic scout to take part in any religious activity with troop that is not of his own faith.


(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Both our Pack and Troop are chartered by the Holy Name Society of our local Catholic Church. Most of the boys are members of the parish and the younger ones are members of the Church's Elementary School. The Holy Name Society also supports Girl Scouts which has a Troop in every grade K-8 and I believe there is also one of High School girls.


For all of the above BSA and GSUSA groups when camping, when it is possible to attend a mass at a local church they do so. When it is possible to have one of our priests come out for Saturday evening or Sunday morning they do so. When neither of the above options are possible, the Scout group will hold a Scouts Own Service on Sunday morning.


Personally I prefer the Scouts Own Service. There is something very spiritual about speaking to God under the trees and open sky. Neither the Archdiocese or our Pastor have excommunicated any of us yet!

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Catholics who are shut-ins have the option to participate in a Mass by watching it on television. I am thinking that perhaps something could be arranged this way. I know that EWTN the Catholic network out of Alabama has live Masses performed throughout the day. Consecrated hosts can be brought to the camp-out and distributed by a Church member.


OGE- let me know if I'm right about this.



Though setting up the SAtelite dish might be tricky I suppose!.


And GOld WInger- it was a Cosmic Fact that your pagan rights would inevitably descend upon this thread. I would love to watch you perform such a rite. I slaughtered my first goat in the Maine woods back in 1990. I cried like baby. Something about killing something up close and personal and deliberately is quite a shock to the system. I still think it ranks as one of the better coming age rights for young men - though I'm sure this notion would ignite the ire of a lot of the forum members.


What was the one movie where the boy was told to drink the heart blood of the first deer he shot? That is a good one too.


But thank goodness for MAlchesadek and Our savior for allowing us to forgo with the necessity of such rituals.




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BobWhite says, "A non-denominational or interfaith worship service does not meet the religious obligations of Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Islamics, and many other faiths."


This is interesting and new to me. Can you elaborate a bit? What are the religious obligations and what are the consequences of not meeting them? Is this a sin to Catholics? (Do Jews have "sin"?). We have never had an issue with Sunday camping in our religiously diverse troop, but I'd like to be more informed about the issue. Maybe this is a reason why some fellows don't camp much (aren't allowed to) and I am just oblivious. If this is a reason, I'd like to be able to direct the family to another unit.


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Q. 1. Am I obligated to go to Holy Mass on Sundays?

A. 1. According to the Church precepts, you are obligated to attend Mass on Sunday.



Q. 2. Where do I find information on these Church precepts?

A. 2. "The first precept ("You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation.") requires the faithful to participate in the Eucharistic celebration when the Christian community gathers together on the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord." (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 2042)


(Note: "Eucharistic celebration" means "Holy Mass.")


The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely:


"On Sundays and other holydays of obligation, the faithful are obliged to assist at Mass. They are also to abstain from such work or business that would inhibit the worship to be given to God, the joy proper to the Lord's Day, or the due relaxation of mind and body." (Canon Law # 1247)


"The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day." [Canon Law # 1248.1] (C.C.C. # 2180)




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