What about poor people...?

From: Roy R. Reeder, 2nd
Subject: Question about Masses being said for individuals

Greetings Father

A friend of mine sent me these questions:

Both of us are having masses said for our family members. I believe that they are beneficial. So does Barbara, but its something you have to pay for.

What about poor people who can't afford to have Masses offered up for their loved ones?

What kind of blessings or how does the person who the Mass is said for get the blessings?

My response was that any funds for this mass was similar to a "love offering". For the monies are used with in the parish, rather than going into one's pocket. If you do not have the funds to do so should not impede a mass being said as an intention for a deceased loved one.

I had always thought that the masses were said for the souls in purgatory and if that soul was in Hell then the intention would be granted to another by GOD, at his descretion. The blessings also are for GOD alone to despense.

Please advise.


Dear Roy,

You response is correct. It used to be the Mass stipend was a priest's main means of support and therefore the suggested donation was the amount necessary to live on for one day, about five dollars at that time. I suggest to people a twenty dollar donation which in this case goes to the parish, but if someone does not have that amount, any donation is acceptable - or even none. If a person wants a full blown theology of stipends, there is a classic article by Karl Rahner (in Theological Investigations) on the subject.

Good to hear from you, Roy. God bless,

Fr. Phil Bloom

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