Sensory-Friendly Mass Directory

One of the biggest steps the Church needs to do now to include autistics is making a sensory-friendly Mass in every city. Asking a few autistics I know, I have found a number of locations that have such Masses. I looked at the US and Canada. Here’s the map. I’ll explain the details below it.

Color code:

  • Red = currently inconsistent or inactive (less than consistently 1x per month)
  • Black = not an explicitly sensory-friendly / accessible / etc. Mass but a Mass that is reported as more sensory-friendly (often early morning Masses, low extraordinary form Masses, or contemplative Masses)
  • Orange = at least monthly sensory-friendly Mass but not weekly
  • Lime green = weekly sensory area like a reverse cry room
  • Dark green = weekly full sensory-friendly Mass

I also list these in a Google sheet in an approximately west-to-east order.

Details:
  • This is presented as-is and to-the-best-of-my-knowledge. I cannot guarantee the information on the map.
  • Each location has details and usually a link to the website.
    • Some are specific areas like a reverse cry-room, some are special Masses explicitly sensory-friendly, and others are Masses that are the most sensory-friendly in the area even if not done for that reason.
    • Different locations use different terms. I will usually include this in the description.
    • Not every one is every week. (Honestly, with the autistic love of order and regularity, we should work to make these all weekly.)
  • I am relying both on parish descriptions and descriptions by autistic individuals.
  • Please comment below or use the contact form above if something needs updating.
  • This will be pinned to the menu on this site and I hope to regularly update it so it can be reshared every few months.
  • The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has a good summary on what is involved
Sensory-Friendly Masses in General

I know some autistics are more sensory seekers, so if anything the issue with Mass is not enough sensory information. So, these may not be “sensory-friendly” to them. The goal here is to help many autistics go to Mass. Usually, sensory seekers can find a Mass that works for them, but often sensory-avoiders struggle to find one.

If no sensory-friendly Mass is near you, two options exist. First, you can try to convince a parish near you to offer one. (Hopefully, I can write a guide on this later.) Second, you can implement various strategies to deal with sensory issues at Mass which I described before.

Body and blood of Christ
Body and Blood of Christ (CC0 Annie Theby on Unsplash)
Update, December 2023:

Somehow, the original map I used was lost. However, Robby, down in the comments, reminded me about Wayback Machine. I recreated the list as it was a year ago but improved it in three ways:

  1. I color-coded the list
  2. I cleaned it up a bit
  3. I also put it on Google Drive for those who prefer a chart.
History of the number of locations listed
  • February 2022: 11 locations
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19 comments

  1. Father, what is your evaluation of how the traditional Low Mass might help to serve this need with it’s quiet and rhythmic character? What do you think? Have you explored this as part of your ministry?

  2. I noticed St Helen’s Parish in Dayton. I can’t attest to the sensory aspects but I will say that if they say they have one they are definitely trying and will definitely listen and make every effort to help. A true family parish.

  3. Father, are you aware of any compilation of masses friendly for people with ADHD? When I was a child, Sunday masses were torture (why do they need to sing Alleluia for >60 seconds rather than just saying it once!), However, I actually enjoyed the simple weekday masses.

    As an adult, I can tolerate the Sunday masses better, but I see the pain and mass-refusal in ADHD-diagnosed children every Sunday. It may be helpful to have a list of parishes that celebrate the Sunday liturgy with a weekday-style mass (if that is allowed in the rubrics). Maybe the traditional low mass mentioned above would be a good option. I’ll check out the link you provided.

  4. Hi, Father Matthew Sts. Simon and Jude in the Woodlands Texas has a sensory friendly mass once a month 2nd saturday of the month. Our next one is Saturday Jan 13th at 11:00. Unfortunately, the next after January will be in April.

  5. The early Mass at St James in Jacksonville FL works for my autistic kids and myself (also autistic). It’s quieter/smaller, no incense, fidgets are available. CCD is also being designed to cater to neurodiverse kids.

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