The Mission Hub

The Pontifical Mission Societies include the Society for the
Propagation of the Faith, the Missionary Childhood Association, the Society of St.Peter Apostle, and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious. These Societies promote a prayerfulmissionary spirit among baptized Catholics and to gather a fund of support for the evangelizing and pastoral programs of more than 1,150 local churches of the Developing World.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

This Holy and Living Sacrifice

It is a time-honored tradition of our Catholic faith to have the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered for friends and relatives, both living and deceased.  Most often this happens at the time of death as an expression of sympathy to the family and as a tangible spiritual benefit for the person who has died.  This is a much more substantial and enduring gift than the sending of flowers or other condolences.  In addition, a Mass can also be offered for a living person and their intentions or to honor a significant milestone in someone’s life.  In describing the spiritual benefits of the Mass, the Church teaches that
 …the Eucharistic sacrifice, the memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord, in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated through the ages is the summit and source of all worship and Christian life, which signifies and effects the unity of the People of God and brings about the building up of the body of Christ. 

Also part of our tradition is the custom of the faithful making a free will offering, or stipend, to the priest who celebrates the Mass.  This is not to be seen as “paying” to have a Mass offered.  Rather, it is one of the means by which the priest is able to support himself.  The need for this kind of support is particularly acute in the missions.  Many priests in mission territories receive no salary and the people whom they serve are too poor to support them. They rely heavily on Mass stipends for their very survival.
The benefit of Mass stipends sent to missionaries is twofold.  Those who request a Mass and those for whom the Mass is offered benefit spiritually and the priest receives financial support to enable him to carry out his ministry.  Our office receives many more requests for Mass offerings from bishops for their priests in the missions than we are able to fulfill.  You can help greatly to support the missionary work of the Church by using the Mass cards from The Society for the Propagation of the Faith.  We will be happy to send you a supply at your request.  Please contact our office at 617.542.1776.  Your support of the missions is deeply appreciated by those who rely on your generosity to enable them to carry out the work of preaching the Gospel.
For further information concerning the missionary work of the Church, see our website,
Rev. Rodney J. Copp JCL

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