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Mass Intentions - New Procedures

Posted : Jul-07-2024

   From the beginnings of the Church, over 2000 years ago, it has been a custom for people to ask that a Mass be offered for specific intentions. The most common request for a Mass is for the repose of the soul of someone who has died. People also offer Mass in thanksgiving, or for someone who is sick, or even for birthdays and special anniversaries.

   When a priest celebrates the Mass each day, he offers the Mass for an intention and by doing so he applies the special graces from God upon that person or intention. We read in the writings of the early church Fathers that this was a practice that was particularly praised and encouraged. In St. Augustine’s book, Confessions (c. 397), he writes that his mother Monica asked him, “One thing only I ask you, that you remember me at the altar of the Lord.”

   There are two types of Mass intentions – Announced and Unannounced.

  • An Announced Mass implies that the intention requested is scheduled for a specific day and it is verbally announced at the Mass. (This does not mean that it also needs to be written in a bulletin.)
  • An Unannounced Mass means that the priest celebrates the Mass on a day that he is free from any intentions. An Unannounced Mass is not verbally mentioned, but rather the priest brings the intention silently to the Altar in his heart.

   The practice of giving a donation/offering for a Mass intention is also a long tradition in our church. We never sell a Sacrament – this would be Simony and against our faith. Rather we give a donation/offering so that we can support the church and the priest who is celebrating the Mass.

   People often ask, “What is the cost for a Mass or Baptism or Marriage?” People often say these words unintentionally. They are basically asking for some guidance as to what normally is given. In the case of Mass intentions, we suggest $20 for an Announced Mass and $10 for an Unannounced Mass.

   If a parish is large, there is often need of including Multiple Intention Masses. This means that in these Masses the priest announces more than one intention. Depending on the requests, there can be 10-15 intentions in the one Mass to be celebrated.

   If the priest is not able to celebrate an Unannounced Mass in a timely manner, he often gives his Unannounced Masses to Missionary Priests who are able to celebrate the Masses more readily. These Missionary Priests will then be supported by the donations.

   Here at St. John Fisher Parish, we will be implementing some new procedures and we ask for your understanding and assistance. Moving forward, we will be implementing the following:

  • Mass on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays:
    • Only one Announced Intention per Mass and we will limit this to deceased souls only and no other special intentions.
  • Mass on Wednesdays:
    • Multiple Intention Mass where numerous intentions can be offered for deceased souls, for a thanksgiving, an anniversary, a birthday, or other special intentions.
  • Saturday Vigil and Sunday Masses:
    • On Sundays, we will not have any Mass intentions.

Fr. Liborio will celebrate these Masses for all the intentions of the parishioners of St. John Fisher.

   We are aware that people have already booked Mass intentions. Some have even booked for a year or more from now. We have been reaching out to those who have booked Mass intentions for the Sunday Masses and letting people know that we will need to change the date. Unfortunately, we do not have contact information for some people and are unable to reach out to them. If you are one of those who have booked an intention for a Sunday Mass, please reach out to Rose, our Secretary, by phone or email to reschedule your intention. If we do not hear from you by September, then we will automatically move these Mass intentions to other available dates.

   Our hope is that, starting in September, our Sunday Masses will be for all of you and your intentions. If you have any issues or concerns with our new procedures, please feel free to reach out to Fr. Liborio.